Lady Toppers use Late-Game Heroics to Sweep Charlotte

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — A young team searching for an identity may have found it this weekend. The WKU women’s basketball team once again made clutch plays to earn a 65-64 win against Charlotte for a weekend sweep of the 49ers.

The late game heroics came from a variety of players. Raneem Elgedawy came back in the game after exiting with a bloody nose at the 5:41 mark of the fourth quarter, checking in with 2:41 left in the game. In that span, Elgedawy knocked down a free throw that tied up the game, chased down two offensive rebounds that kept WKU’s possession alive with less than a minute in the game and then hit the go-ahead 3-pointer that proved to be the game-winner.

Myriah Haywood came up with some big plays in the fourth quarter as well, scoring eight points in the frame. Three of her four buckets in the fourth reclaimed the lead for WKU in a back-and-forth game.

Elgedawy finished with a game-high 20 points, her fifth straight 20-point game. She notched her fourth double-double of the season with 13 boards. Hope Sivori filled out the stat sheet with 12 points, six assists, four steals and four rebounds. Fatou Pouye added 10 points along with eight rebounds. Haywood was the fourth Lady Topper in double figures with 10 points. Meral Abdelgawad pulled down six rebounds and dished out five assists along with her seven points.

WKU has been plagued by slow starts this season, but Saturday the Lady Toppers started out on the right foot scoring on the first three WKU possessions. WKU jumped out to a 9-2 start, but a 9-0 run from the 49ers gave Charlotte the lead midway through the first quarter.

The Lady Toppers took the lead early in the second quarter, but Charlotte used a 6-0 run to go ahead by five. The 49ers kept a lead for the remainder of the second period, but the lead never grew more than six.

Charlotte led for most of the third quarter and took a one-point lead into the final frame. There were five ties and seven lead changes in the fourth quarter. WKU held the lead from the 4:36 mark to the 2:06 mark, but went behind following back-to-back baskets from Charlotte. Elgedawy’s free throw tied the game, but the 49ers followed with a bucket. Elgedawy’s three with 30 seconds left was the final dagger.

It was the first time in program history the Lady Toppers have won back-to-back one-point games. In all, WKU has only played consecutive one-point games four times in history.

WKU improves to 5-9 on the season and 4-4 in Conference USA, placing the Lady Toppers in a tie for third in the East alongside FIU. Charlotte holds on to second place in the East with a 4-2 record in league play.

The Lady Toppers move to 22-5 against the 49ers and 15-0 against Charlotte in Bowling Green.

WKU will be back in E.A. Diddle Arena next weekend with another C-USA series against Florida Atlantic. Game one is set for Friday at 6 p.m. while game two will be Saturday at the same time.