Lady Tops Notch Seventh Straight Win, Outlast UTEP 78-65

Credit – WKU Athletics

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — The WKU women’s basketball team continues its winning ways with a 78-65 win against UTEP at E.A. Diddle Arena on Thursday night. The Lady Toppers have now won seven-straight games, 11-straight home games and are 9-0 in Diddle Arena this season.

Overall WKU improves to 17-6 on the season and 9-3 in Conference USA.

For the first time this season, four different Lady Toppers scored 15-plus points on the night. Meral Abdelgawad and Alexis Brewer led the team with 17 points each and Dee Givens and Raneem Elgedawy were close behind with 16 points each.

It was a season high in points for Abdelgawad and it tied Brewer’s season high. Elgedawy had 14 rebounds to go with points for her 12th double-double of the season. With 23 career double-doubles, Elgedawy moves into 10th place on WKU’s all-time double-doubles list.

Givens filled out the stat sheet with a career-high six assists, season-high six steals and five rebounds. Abdelgawad also had six rebounds, three steals and two assists.

The Lady Toppers got off to a hot start, going ahead 26-11 in the first quarter. Givens got the scoring underway in the game, connecting on a deep 3-pointer. UTEP kept things close for the first three minutes of the game, but WKU went on a 14-2 run to jump out to a 21-7 lead. Givens had 11 of her points in the frame and Elgedawy had eight in the period. The Lady Toppers forced the Miners into seven turnovers and scored 13 points off the miscues during the quarter.

UTEP scored first in the second quarter, but WKU quickly went on a 10-0 run that included two 3-pointers from Brewer to go ahead by 24 points. A few plays later, Brewer added her third 3-pointer and De’Myla Brown knocked one down of her own to push the Lady Toppers ahead by 27. The Miners responded with an 11-0 run to end the quarter with WKU holding on to a 44-28 lead.

Brewer got the first bucket of the second half, but UTEP went on a 7-0 run to cut the lead down to 11. Brewer’s 13th point on a jumper snapped the run for the Lady Toppers. The two teams went back-and-forth but another run by the Miners, this time 6-0, helped cut it down to single digits. A basket from Givens right before the break pushed the score back out to an 11-point differential.

At the 2:45 mark of the fourth quarter, UTEP had cut the game to 5 points, but the Lady Toppers outscored the Miners 12-4 to finish the game.

The Lady Toppers turned UTEP over 19 times and converted that into 23 points. WKU recorded 16 assists on the night, which is the second highest total for the Lady Toppers this season and marks the sixth consecutive game with double-digit helpers. WKU is 15-2 this season when registering double-digit assist.

WKU returns to the court on Saturday against UTSA. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m. Fans can get into the game for free with the donation of two canned goods to the WKU Food Pantry. Canned goods will be collected at the doors of Diddle Arena.