WKU connected on 23 of its 31 shots (74.2 percent) in the second half and tallied 88 points over the final three quarters as the Lady Toppers picked up a 101-58 exhibition victory over Union (Tenn.) inside E.A. Diddle Arena on Thursday evening.
WKU’s win was its 34th consecutive victory in exhibition play as well as its seventh win in such games under Head Coach Michelle Clark-Heard. The Lady Toppers have won each of those seven games by 32 or more points, including Thursday night’s 43-point win.
Senior Ivy Brown had a double-double at halftime and finished with a game-high 26 points and 12 rebounds, and freshman Raneem Elgedawy, making her debut on The Hill, notched a double-double as well with 20 points and a game-high 14 boards. As a team, WKU outrebounded the Lady Bulldogs by a 45-21 margin and allowed only five offensive rebounds on the night. Elgedawy and fellow freshman Sherry Porter drew the start in their first official action with WKU.
Sophomore Whitney Creech turned in a strong all-around performance with 13 points, six rebounds and seven assists across 31 minutes of action, and Tashia Brown (12) and Dee Givens (11) rounded out the WKU group in double figures for scoring.
For Union, Chelsey Shumpert totaled 26 points and was joined in double figures by Jada Perkins with 11 points. The Lady Bulldogs were held to just 23-of-58 shooting (39.7 percent) on the night by a stout Lady Topper defense, which also forced 21 turnovers.
WKU scored the first six points of the night but could not find separation over the opening 10 minutes of the game. The early lead grew to as many as eight points on two occasions, but each time Union was able to pull its way back into the game; Shumpert’s three-pointer with 1:18 to play cut the advantage to just five points, and the Lady Toppers carried a 13-7 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Leading 33-23 with 2:54 to play before the halftime break, WKU closed out the first half on a 6-0 run to take a 39-25 lead into the locker room. Ivy Brown scored a pair of layups off feeds from Tashia Brown and Creech to key the run, and Tashia Brown’s pullup jumper with nine seconds remaining gave the Lady Toppers their largest lead of the night to that point.
WKU continued to build on its lead coming out of the break, going up by 20 points for the first time on Creech’s layup at the 7:52 mark early in the third quarter. Union twice trimmed the deficit back under 20 points over the next three minutes, but the Lady Toppers did not allow the Lady Bulldogs to come any closer than 18 points over that span.
Holding a 58-36 lead with 3:17 left in the quarter, the Lady Toppers closed out the third period on a 12-2 run to seize control of the matchup. Four different Lady Toppers scored during the stretch, buoyed by four points from Elgedawy and a three-pointer from freshman Terri Smith, and Elgedawy’s turn-around layup at the buzzer off a long pass from Creech put WKU ahead, 70-38, entering the final quarter.
Over the final 10 minutes, Union would get no closer than the initial 32-point deficit that it faced. WKU scored the first five points of the frame and saw its lead grow to as many as 46 points two times, first on a layup by Elgedawy with two minutes remaining and again on Creech’s jumper with 1:26 on the clock that pushed WKU over the century mark.
Following its exhibition victory on Thursday, WKU will kick off the 2017-18 regular season on Friday, Nov. 10, at 2:30 p.m. in Iowa City, Iowa, as the Lady Toppers compete in the 2017 Hawkeye Challenge. WKU will first meet No. 16/16 Missouri in its Friday matchup before battling either the host Iowa or 2016-17 Sweet Sixteen participant Quinnipiac in its second game on Saturday, Nov. 11.
Postgame Quotes – WKU vs. Union (Tenn.) – November 2, 2017
Sophomore Guard Whitney Creech
On the outlook of the game…
“I think this was a good way just to kind of see where we’re at as a team. It was good to see all of to see all of the other people step up and knock down shots and play defense… Playing with the same group we built a lot of chemistry and we kind of figured out how to play with each other and how each person plays and to give them the ball in the spots where they can be successful.”
Freshman Guard Sherry Porter
On what they learned from the exhibition game…
“I think we got everything that we expected. Like we said, we’ve got a long way to go and we’ve just got to trust Coach and trust the process and just keep playing.”
On adapting to collegiate basketball…
“I think it’s the pace of the game because college ball is a lot quicker than high school. So it’s just doing everything Coach Heard is telling me to do and going out there and executing all the game plans.”
Head Coach Michelle Clark-Heard
On Raneem Elgedawy…
“I told you, Raneem is pretty special. The game, she has a very high (basketball) IQ and she plays really hard as you see. I think the more she continues to keep getting comfortable, I think she’ll get better and better and that’s what we’re really excited about.”
On the upcoming games…
“We’ll really be able to break film down and see more of the stuff we need to work on for the rest of this week before we get to Missouri.”
– @WKUSports –
Currie P. McFayden
WKU Associate Director of Athletic Communications
Women’s Basketball | Women’s Soccer