BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – WKU connected on 23 of its 31 shots (74.2 percent) in the
second half and tallied 88 points over the final three quarters as the Lady Toppers
picked up a 101-58 exhibition victory over Union (Tenn.) inside E.A. Diddle Arena on
WKU’s win was its 34th consecutive victory in exhibition play as well as its seventh
win in such games under Head Coach Michelle Clark-Heard. The Lady Toppers have won
each of those seven games by 32 or more points, including Thursday night’s 43-point
Senior Ivy Brown had a double-double at halftime and finished with a game-high 26
points and 12 rebounds, and freshman Raneem Elgedawy, making her debut on The Hill,
notched a double-double as well with 20 points and a game-high 14 boards. As a team,
WKU outrebounded the Lady Bulldogs by a 45-21 margin and allowed only five offensive
rebounds on the night. Elgedawy and fellow freshman Sherry Porter drew the start in
their first official action with WKU.
Sophomore Whitney Creech turned in a strong all-around performance with 13 points,
six rebounds and seven assists across 31 minutes of action, and Tashia Brown (12)
and Dee Givens (11) rounded out the WKU group in double figures for scoring.
For Union, Chelsey Shumpert totaled 26 points and was joined in double figures by
Jada Perkins with 11 points. The Lady Bulldogs were held to just 23-of-58 shooting
(39.7 percent) on the night by a stout Lady Topper defense, which also forced 21
WKU scored the first six points of the night but could not find separation over the
opening 10 minutes of the game. The early lead grew to as many as eight points on
two occasions, but each time Union was able to pull its way back into the game;
Shumpert’s three-pointer with 1:18 to play cut the advantage to just five points,
and the Lady Toppers carried a 13-7 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Leading 33-23 with 2:54 to play before the halftime break, WKU closed out the first
half on a 6-0 run to take a 39-25 lead into the locker room. Ivy Brown scored a pair
of layups off feeds from Tashia Brown and Creech to key the run, and Tashia Brown’s
pullup jumper with nine seconds remaining gave the Lady Toppers their largest lead
of the night to that point.
WKU continued to build on its lead coming out of the break, going up by 20 points
for the first time on Creech’s layup at the 7:52 mark early in the third quarter.
Union twice trimmed the deficit back under 20 points over the next three minutes,
but the Lady Toppers did not allow the Lady Bulldogs to come any closer than 18
points over that span.
Holding a 58-36 lead with 3:17 left in the quarter, the Lady Toppers closed out the
third period on a 12-2 run to seize control of the matchup. Four different Lady
Toppers scored during the stretch, buoyed by four points from Elgedawy and a
three-pointer from freshman Terri Smith, and Elgedawy’s turn-around layup at the
buzzer off a long pass from Creech put WKU ahead, 70-38, entering the final quarter.
Over the final 10 minutes, Union would get no closer than the initial 32-point
deficit that it faced. WKU scored the first five points of the frame and saw its
lead grow to as many as 46 points two times, first on a layup by Elgedawy with two
minutes remaining and again on Creech’s jumper with 1:26 on the clock that pushed
WKU over the century mark.
Following its exhibition victory on Thursday, WKU will kick off the 2017-18 regular
season on Friday, Nov. 10, at 2:30 p.m. in Iowa City, Iowa, as the Lady Toppers
compete in the 2017 Hawkeye Challenge. WKU will first meet No. 16/16 Missouri in its
Friday matchup before battling either the host Iowa or 2016-17 Sweet Sixteen
participant Quinnipiac in its second game on Saturday, Nov. 11.