BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Junior forward Tashia Brown has been named to the NCAA’s weekly Starting Five that honors the five most outstanding performers in the nation over the past week after her 28-point outburst to push WKU past No. 23 Indiana last Saturday afternoon.
WKU has now landed a player in the NCAA Starting Five at least one time in each of the last three seasons: Chastity Gooch captured the honor in 2014-15 before Kendall Noble earned the weekly award last season. Brown’s Starting Five honor is the first of her career on The Hill; she is joined on the Starting Five list this week by Emily Clemens (Western Illinois), Arike Ogunbowale (Notre Dame), Teniya Page (Penn State) and Katie Lou Samuelson (Connecticut).
Brown keyed the Lady Toppers with 28 points on Saturday afternoon, her sixth career outing with 25 or more points and the second-most points scored against a Division I opponent by a C-USA player thus far in 2016-17. The Lake Park, Ga., native tallied 15 of her points in the fourth quarter, setting a new program record for most points in a quarter by an individual player as she helped WKU to build a lead of as many as 15 points with seven minutes to play before ultimately coming away with the 85-74 victory.
Saturday’s victory over Indiana marked the first time that WKU has defeated a ranked opponent in back-to-back seasons since 1996-97 and 1997-98. Last season, the Lady Toppers defeated then-No. 16 Louisville inside E.A. Diddle Arena, 71-69, after Kayla Smith’s go-ahead basket with just over 30 seconds remaining. The win was also the first for C-USA against a top-25 opponent this season.
The leading scorer on the most explosive offense in C-USA in the early stages of the season, Brown ranks fourth among all C-USA players with 18.7 points per game.
Brown and the Lady Toppers will return to action against No. 20/20 DePaul on Friday afternoon at 12:30 p.m. (CT) in their first matchup of the 2016 Gulf Coast Showcase in Estero, Fla. With a win, WKU would likely face No. 2/4 Baylor on Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m. (CT) for a spot in Sunday’s championship game. The eight-team tournament field features five teams that reached the NCAA Tournament last season, including national runner-up Syracuse.
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