Tashia Brown pushed her NCAA-leading 20-point scoring streak to nine consecutive games with 30 points and Ivy Brown added a double-double of 20 points and 15 rebounds as WKU defeated Lee University, 88-64, in its non-conference finale inside E.A. Diddle Arena on Friday evening.
Tashia Brown matched her season high with 30 points on 11-of-18 shooting on the night while also going 8-of-10 from the charity stripe. The 30-point outing was the fourth of Brown’s career and her second this season after also tallying 30 points in WKU’s upset win over then-No. 16 Missouri on Nov. 10.
Ivy Brown hauled down a season-best 15 boards, including six on the offensive end, and added 20 points and a career-best six steals for the Lady Toppers (9-4), who close non-conference play with eight wins in their last nine games.
As a team, WKU was strong inside the paint, outscoring the Flames 40-20 in that category. The Lady Toppers also owned a 23-8 advantage in points off turnovers, generating 23 takeaways on the night.
WKU jumped out to an early lead over the first two and a half minutes after scoring 11 of the game’s first 15 points. Ivy Brown kicked off the scoring with a three-pointer from the right corner and had five points during the early Lady Topper run, and Tashia Brown added a pair of jumpers in the first two minutes to push the advantage to 11-4.
Over the final seven minutes of the first frame, WKU stretched its lead to 14 points. Leading 24-16 at the 2:34 mark, the Lady Toppers got triples from Whitney Creech and Sidnee Bopp over the last 90 seconds to carry a 30-16 advantage into the second frame.
Lee made a push midway through the second quarter and managed to cut WKU’s lead to 10 points with an 11-3 burst, but WKU immediately answered back with five unanswered points as Ivy Brown’s jumper put the Lady Toppers ahead, 42-27.
Over the final two and a half minutes of the first half, Lee outscored WKU 10-4, capped by a three-pointer from Halle Hughes, to cut the Lady Topper advantage to 49-42 heading into the locker room.
WKU opened the third quarter hot, scoring the first 13 points out of the break. Six points from Ivy Brown and five more from Tashia Brown keyed the run for the Lady Toppers, who came away with their largest lead of the evening to that point, 62-42.
Lee was unable to close the gap back to single digits for the remainder of the contest. In the fourth quarter, WKU retook its 20-point advantage at the 5:58 mark after a pair of free throws by Raneem Elgedawy, and Sherry Porter’s layup with 26 seconds to play pushed WKU to the final scoreline of 88-64.
With non-conference play now completed, WKU is set to open C-USA play next Thursday evening at 7 p.m. (CT) against archrival Middle Tennessee inside Diddle Arena. The Lady Toppers have won three straight games in the rivalry against the Blue Raiders, including the last two games played at home; next Thursday’s game will also be the second of WKU’s four-game homestand.
On entering into conference play…
“We’ve just got to play tougher teams… just playing at that level, like at a high level, we’ll be even more prepared for conference.”
On wrapping up non-conference season and entering into conference…
“I think we had a good non-conference season, but I think we have a long way to go for conference season. You can always improve, so I’m excited to see what we can do in the next few days of practice to get better for Middle (Tennessee).”
On where they go from here…
“I think we go back to film and break down all the things we messed up on. Getting focused on defense and getting focused on being aggressive and doing what we do best.
HC Michelle Clark-Heard
On wrapping up the non-conference season and moving forward…
“First off, I’m really proud of our team. The schedule we’ve played, to have nine games on the road, to be able to come home and play the competition that we’ve played. Although we’ve got to get a little better on being more resilient on defense and doing the things that we need to to get stops and not playing, as far as all the time or on the clock, we just need to play really hard as a group. I was really proud of us the second half, because I felt like we came out and did that for at least the first six or seven minutes.”
On Tashia Brown…
“I’m just really excited that I’m getting the chance to coach her. She’s a phenomenal young lady, just so humble. She wants to get better, we watch film. She watches a lot of basketball. She tries to evaluate her game and she wants to know what she can do to get better. Coming into this season, she’s taken a whole new approach: her nutrition, her working out, doing the things she needs to in order to be in the shape to do this. What is this, nine games now in a row where she’s scored 20 plus? That’s not easy to do, I don’t care who you’re playing. I’m just proud of her and the way she’s worked and what she’s doing to help lead this team.”
On Ivy Brown and the pair of seniors’ last conference season…
“Ivy Brown has been incredible for us. Double-doubles and rebounding and getting on the floor and talking and leading. Every day, I walk away, with these two, this is our last go around in conference together. Myself and the staff, we’re just working really hard so we can put them in the position every single day so we can have a chance to win.”
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Currie P. McFayden
WKU Associate Director of Athletic Communications