WKU posted its best defensive outing of the season, holding UTSA to just 20 percent shooting from the field, and outscored the Roadrunners 37-16 in the second half to earn a 73-38 win on Education Day inside E.A. Diddle Arena on Thursday afternoon.
The Lady Toppers (13-5, 4-1 C-USA) remained perfect in Education Day games since beginning the tradition during the 2010-11 campaign; all seven wins have come against conference opponents.
Ivy Brown led all scorers with 19 points on 8-of-13 shooting and fell just shy of a double-double with nine rebounds. Tashia Brown chipped in 17 points, Dee Givens added 15 points off the bench and Raneem Elgedawy had a strong all-around statline, recording her fourth double-double of the season with 13 points and 14 rebounds while also adding three assists and five blocks.
As a team, the Lady Toppers limited UTSA (3-14, 1-4 C-USA) to just 20 percent shooting, including a 1-of-19 mark (5.3 percent) in the third quarter alone. The Roadrunners were also held without a three-pointer, going 0-for-12 from beyond the arc.
Marie Benson led UTSA with nine points and seven rebounds, and Kourtney Kekec added eight points.
Both sides were evenly matched over the first four minutes of the contest, battling to a 6-6 deadlock after Tashia Brown’s layup at the 6:35 mark of the opening quarter. WKU broke open the game with a 9-0 run over the next two minutes, with all nine points coming from Ivy Brown. The senior capped the stretch with an open three-pointer to put the Lady Toppers in front, 15-6.
WKU maintained its nine-point lead through the end of the first quarter despite a quick run by the Roadrunners, who cut the lead back to nine points off Benson’s layup at the buzzer.
Early in the second quarter, UTSA cut the lead down to six points, 20-14, on a jumper from Crystal Chidomere, but the Lady Toppers responded with another long 9-0 run. Givens sparked the burst with a three-pointer, and Tashia Brown added the final six points to give WKU its largest lead of the day to that point, 29-14, with 6:21 on the clock.
The Lady Toppers pushed their lead to as many as 19 points, but the Roadrunners tallied the final five points of the frame, including a jumper by Tija Hawkins at the buzzer, to trim WKU’s halftime advantage to 36-22.
A three-point play by UTSA’s Hawkins at the 6:26 mark of the third quarter cut WKU’s lead to 40-25, but the Roadrunners would get no closer for the rest of the game. WKU answered with an 11-2 run to build its first 20-point lead of the day; the Lady Topper run was bookended by a pair of jumpers from Whitney Creech and left WKU with a 51-27 lead.
UTSA cut the deficit back to 19 points at the beginning of the fourth quarter off Hawkins’ layup with 9:26 to play. WKU’s defense clamped down over the final seven minutes, however, outscoring the Roadrunners 15-2 over that span to reach the final 73-38 scoreline.
WKU is set to head on the road for its next three games in C-USA play, beginning at Marshall on Sunday afternoon at Noon (CT). The Lady Toppers own an 8-1 lead in the all-time series against the Thundering Herd and claimed a season sweep of Marshall in 2016-17, including a 78-64 win in the most recent meeting between the two sides on Feb. 11, 2017. Following Sunday’s battle, WKU will remain on the road at North Texas (Jan. 26 at 7 p.m.) and Louisiana Tech (Jan. 28 at 2 p.m.) to close its three-game swing away from home.
How to Follow the Lady Toppers: For complete information on WKU Lady Topper Basketball, visit WKUSports.com or follow the program via social media @LadyTopperHoops on Twitter, @LadyTopperHoops on Instagram and on Facebook at facebook.com/WKUWomensBasketball.
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Currie P. McFayden
WKU Associate Director of Athletic Communications
Women’s Basketball | Women’s Soccer