BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Junior Tashia Brown tallied 15 of her game-high 28 points in the fourth quarter and redshirt senior Kendall Noble approached a triple-double as WKU took down No. 23 Indiana, 85-74, inside E.A. Diddle Arena on Saturday afternoon in the 34th Annual BB&T Classic matchup.
The Lady Toppers have now defeated a ranked opponent in back-to-back seasons for the first time since the 1996-97 and 1997-98 campaigns after dropping No. 16 Louisville inside Diddle last season.
Brown’s 28 points led all scorers on Saturday afternoon for WKU (2-1), and she was joined in double figures by Noble (16), Ivy Brown (11) and Micah Jones (11). Noble, the only active Division I player with a triple-double in her career, stuffed the stat sheet by adding nine rebounds, seven assists, two blocks and a steal as well.
For No. 23 Indiana (3-1), Tyra Buss paced the team with 24 points, Alexis Gassion had 13 and Amanda Cahill added 12. Jenn Anderson fell just one point shy of a double-double with nine points and 11 boards.
WKU held No. 23 Indiana under 50 percent shooting for the first time this season, limiting the Hoosiers to just 28-of-68 shooting (41.2 percent) from the floor. The Lady Toppers knocked down 27 of their 56 attempts, good for a 48.2 percent clip. WKU also converted 26 of its 28 free throws (92.9 percent), the fifth-highest mark in a single game in school history when attempting 20 or more shots from the charity stripe.
Both sides battled nearly evenly over the opening 10 minutes that featured one tie and four lead changes. Indiana led by as many as three points on three occasions, but each time WKU was able to battle back and cut into the lead. The Hoosiers carried a 17-14 advantage heading into the second frame after scoring the final four points of the quarter.
Indiana’s lead grew to as many as seven points just over two minutes into the second quarter after a run of six unanswered points keyed by a pair of layups from Anderson. Her second gave the Hoosiers a 23-16 lead with 7:56 remaining before the halftime break.
WKU refused to go away, however, and again battled back and surged into the lead just before halftime. Six straight points from Kayla Smith erased the deficit, and midrange jumpers from Tashia Brown and Ima Akpan handed the Lady Toppers a 34-30 lead after the first half.
The opening two minutes of the third quarter featured a pair of ties as the two sides traded baskets, but a layup from Noble at the 7:55 mark gave WKU a 39-37 lead that they would not relinquish for the remainder of the contest. The Lady Toppers’ lead jumped to 10 points just over three minutes later after Jones’ three-pointer, but Indiana managed to close the gap to just seven points, 63-56, to sit within striking distance heading into the final quarter.
Tashia Brown took over the contest to open the fourth quarter for the Lady Toppers, netting the first nine points of the frame for WKU to push the lead to double digits, 72-57. Behind 15 points from Brown over the final 10 minutes, WKU closed out the upset victory to conclude its season-opening homestand with the 85-74 victory.
WKU will return to action next Friday afternoon at 12:30 p.m. (CT) for the opening game of the 2016 Gulf Coast Showcase in Estero, Fla. The Lady Toppers are set to take on No. 20/20 DePaul in the tournament that features five NCAA Tournament participants from last season and will face either Kent State or No. 2/4 Baylor in their second matchup on Saturday.
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