Strong Finish Propels Lady Toppers to 69-60 Win Over Marshall

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — Back home for the first time since Dec. 18, the WKU women’s basketball team revenged its loss to Marshall earlier this week with a 69-60 victory against the Thundering Herd in E.A. Diddle Arena on Sunday.

The Lady Toppers (3-7, 2-2 C-USA) led for all of the game, but a 13-1 run by the Thundering Herd (3-5, 2-4 C-USA)  in the fourth quarter put Marshall ahead for the first time. The young WKU team showed veteran composure and answered with a 12-0 to retake the lead and earn the win.

WKU was led in scoring by Raneem Elgedawy with 20 points. It the 18th 20-point performance of Elgedawy’s career and her 17th consecutive game in double figures.

Meral Abdelgawad had a strong performance with 16 points, seven rebounds and three steals. Abdelgawad shot 6-of-9 from the field and 3-of-5 from three. Hope Sivori put up 15 points and was a perfect 8-of-8 from the free throw line.

WKU started the game on a hot streak, making its first four shots and the first eight of 10, including five 3-pointers. Marshall hung close though, making four of their first five shots. Midway through the first quarter, WKU went on a 9-0 run after Marshall had tied up the game. The Lady Toppers went into the second quarter with a nine-point lead.

Both teams cooled off in the second quarter, scoring a combined 22 points in the frame. WKU shot just 18.2 percent from the field in the period and Marshall shot only 27.3 percent. The third quarter stayed much of the same with each team scoring 12 points each.

In the fourth quarter, 46 points were scored between the two teams and both shot over 50 percent from the field in the frame. At the 6:06 mark, the Herd went on a 13-1 run that would earn them their first lead of the game. A pair of free throws from Sivori at the 2:13 mark snapped the run and was the beginning of WKU’s 12-0 scoring advantage that would clinch the game.

In that stretch, Sivori went 6-of-6 from the free throw line. With 1:12 left to play, the Lady Toppers were holding a three-point lead when Abdelgawad put the nail in the coffin with a corner three. Abdelgawad scored six points in the final 1:12 of the game.

WKU will stay home next week for a series against longtime rival Middle Tennessee. The Blue Raiders were the preseason pick to win C-USA and are currently 7-4 on the season and 5-1 in conference play.