Lady Tops Storm Back for 84-75 Win at LA Tech

Credit – WKU Athletics

RUSTON, La. — The WKU women’s basketball team had to grind out an 84-75 win at Louisiana Tech on Thursday night. The Lady Toppers took a lead early, but the Lady Techsters came storming back and held a one-point lead heading into the fourth quarter. WKU outscored Louisiana Tech 26-16 in the fourth quarter to secure the win.

The Lady Toppers improve to 15-6 on the season and 7-3 in Conference USA, moving to fourth place in the league standings. WKU has won five-straight games and have seven of their last eight.

WKU had five players with double figure points for the first time since Dec. 8, 2018 against Bellarmine. The starting five of Dee Givens, Whitney Creech, Alexis Brewer, Raneem Elgedawy and Meral Abdelgawad scored 81 of WKU’s 84 points.

Creech led WKU in scoring with 21 points. Thirteen of those points came in the fourth quarter when the senior point guard took over, scoring the first nine points of the period for WKU.

Elgedawy and Abdelgawad had double-doubles in the game. It was Elgedawy’s fourth-straight and the 11th of the season. She finished with 17 points and 11 rebounds It was Abdelgawad’s first of her career. Abdelgawad had 13 points and a career-high 15 rebounds.

Brewer made the most of her first start of the season, going 5-of-6 from 3-point range for 17 points. Her only miss came at the end of the game as the shot clock expired in one of WKU’s last possessions. Dee Givens was the fifth double-digit scorer with 13 points.

The Lady Toppers came charging out of the gate to start the game, jumping out to an early 12-2 lead. Creech scored the first points of the game, beating the expiring shot clock with a perfectly timed shot. During that stretch Elgedawy scored four of WKU’s points and Brewer connected on her first three of the game. The Lady Toppers held Louisiana Tech to only 11 points in the first quarter while putting up 23 points themselves.

The second quarter flipped the script with the Lady Techsters outscoring WKU, 27-12. Both teams went back-and-forth to open the period, but Louisiana Tech used a 17-0 run to come storming back and take the lead. At halftime the Lady Techsters led, 38-35.

Louisiana Tech opened the second half with a three to go ahead by six, but Brewer quickly responded with her own three. The Lady Techsters led for most of the third quarter, but the Lady Toppers went on a 7-0 run at the end of the period to take a two-point lead. Louisiana Tech connected with six seconds left in the quarter to go back ahead by one going into the final quarter.

Creech took over in the fourth quarter, scoring the first nine points of the period for the Lady Toppers to give WKU the lead. After Creech’s first two buckets, Louisiana Tech made a three to tie things up but Creech made a tough jumper and then her first three of the game to spark a 9-0 run by the Lady Toppers. That run proved to be the difference with WKU finally able to put some distance between them and the Lady Techsters.

WKU moves to 13-0 this season when outrebounding their opponent. The Lady Toppers held a 38-32 advantage against Louisiana Tech on the boards.

The Lady Toppers have been in a shooting slump recently, but had their best game from range in conference play. WKU’s eight made 3-pointers were the most since making nine against Samford on Dec. 15. Their shooting percentage of 44.4 was the best since 46.2 percent against Little Rock on Nov. 24.

WKU will take on Southern Miss on Saturday at 4 p.m. (CST) in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.