In its 2017-18 non-conference finale, WKU is set to host Division II Lee University on Friday evening at 5:30 p.m. (CT) inside E.A. Diddle Arena. The Lady Toppers have won seven of their last eight games, while Lee fell to North Alabama, 63-62, in its last time out on Dec. 18.
WKU had its seven-game winning streak snapped on the road at Ball State in its last game prior to the holiday break, falling 93-81 against the Cardinals. Tashia Brown was one of four Lady Toppers in double figures with 25 points, Ivy Brown added 19 and Dee Givens (15) and Raneem Elgedawy (11) rounded out the quartet.
Tashia Brown (23.1 points per game) continues to lead all C-USA players in scoring and has tallied eight straight 20-point games for the Lady Toppers, the longest active streak among Division I players this season.
Lee University (9-3) is led by a pair of players in double figures in Erin Walsh (14.3) and Carrie Cheeks (10.8); Cheeks is also the team’s leading rebounder at an 8.3 per game clip. Through 12 games, the Flames are attempting just under 25 three-pointers per game and connect from deep at a 33.7 percent rate.
WKU will open C-USA play against archrival Middle Tennessee next Thursday, Jan. 4, at 7 p.m. inside Diddle Arena as the Lady Toppers seek their fourth straight win in the rivalry.
GAME #13 – WKU VS. LEE UNIVERSITY
WKU (8-4, 0-0 C-USA) vs. Lee University (9-3, 2-2 Gulf South)
December 29, 2017 | 5:30 p.m. (CT)
Bowling Green, Ky. | E.A. Diddle Arena (7,326)
– As of Dec. 27, WKU is ranked No. 26 in the latest NCAA RPI rankings and has faced three teams in the top 30 in Notre Dame, Missouri and Ball State. WKU is the lone C-USA representative in the top 100 of the rankings, with UTEP second at No. 131.
– Tashia Brown leads C-USA and is tied for fourth in the nation with 23.1 points per game in 2017-18. Brown has eight straight 20-point games and has the longest such streak among Division I players this season.
– Already 12th in program history with 1,608 career points, Tashia Brown is looking to move even further up the charts during her senior season. To move into the top 10 in school history, Brown would need to score 155 more points during her final season on The Hill.
– Through 12 games, Ivy Brown is approaching the top 10 in program history in total rebounds, needing just 48 more boards to break into that group. The Hodgenville, Ky., native is also tied for eighth in school history with 115 blocks and her 79.7 percent mark from the free throw line for her career is sixth among all Lady Toppers who have made at least 200 free throws.
– Since the 2000-01 campaign, WKU has squared off against just one other non-Division I opponent in regular season action prior to Friday’s bout with Lee University, defeating Alaska-Anchorage, 62-58, in the Great Alaska Shootout championship game on Nov. 25, 2015.
– Through 12 games, WKU leads C-USA and is tied for 13th in the country from the free throw line, going 183-of-237 (77.2 percent) from the charity stripe. The Lady Toppers’ 183 made free throws are the most among all C-USA teams, and WKU has shot 80 percent or better in five games this season.
– After allowing an average of 82.8 points per game across its first four matchups this season, WKU’s defense has buckled down over its last eight games. During that stretch, the Lady Toppers are giving up only 60.4 points per game and have allowed more than 63 points just one time over that same span.
– Just one week after Ivy Brown tied the program record with 16 points in the third quarter at Southern Illinois, Tashia Brown matched that mark in the third quarter against Toledo on Dec. 17. Brown scored 16 of the team’s 18 points in the frame, including 14 straight points, and outscored the entire Toledo team, 16-13, over the 10-minute span.
– WKU has been very strong at collecting its own misses this season and has tallied nearly as many offensive rebounds as those on the defensive end. The Lady Toppers have pulled down a league-leading 16.8 offensive boards per game, and Ivy Brown ranks second among all C-USA players with 4.0 offensive rebounds per game. WKU’s 16.8 offensive boards also ranks 23rd in the nation among Division I teams.
– After knocking down 11 of her last 18 three-point attempts, Sidnee Bopp now ranks second among C-USA players with her 47.6 three-point field goal percentage this season. Heading into Thursday’sgame at Ball State, Bopp is 20-of-42 from three-point range this season, and her 47.6 percent mark would currently ranks second on the program’s single-season charts.
– In games immediately following a loss since Michelle Clark-Heard took over in 2012-13, the Lady Toppers are 33-8; WKU suffered its first consecutive losses in the same season in nearly three years against Iowa and Notre Dame.
– With five weekly awards (Tashia Brown’s Player of the Week on Nov. 13 and Dec. 18 and Raneem Elgedawy’s Freshman of the Week on Nov. 20, Dec. 4 and Dec. 20) this season, WKU has already exceeded its total from the entire 2016-17 campaign.
– WKU has started a true freshman at least five times in each of the last four seasons. Tashia Brown earned five starts in 2014-15, Kayla Smith drew 31 starts in 2015-16, Sarah Price appeared in the starting lineup five times in 2016-17 and Raneem Elgedawy (12) and Sherry Porter (6) have been consistent starters for the Lady Toppers this season.
– WKU owns an impressive record under Clark-Heard when breaking the 80-point barrier. The Lady Toppers have posted a near-perfect 50-3 mark when scoring 80 or more since the 2012-13 season.
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