WKU scored 45 points off 31 FIU turnovers as Kyvin Goodin-Rogers and Ima Akpan each tallied 18 points in the Lady Toppers’ 90-38 victory over FIU in Sunday’s New Year’s Day C-USA bout inside E.A. Diddle Arena.
Both Goodin-Rogers and Akpan tallied career-best marks since arriving at WKU (10-4, 2-0 C-USA) with their 18 points and were joined in double figures by Ivy Brown (11), Tashia Brown (10) and Whitney Creech (10). Ivy Brown tallied her sixth double-double of the season by adding 11 rebounds, and Kendall Noble stuffed the stat sheet with four points, 10 rebounds, nine assists and five steals.
Kiandre’a Pound, the 2014-15 C-USA Freshman of the Year, led FIU (2-11, 0-2 C-USA) with 12 points and was the lone Panther to reach double figures. Janka Hegedus had a team-best seven rebounds and Kayla Rogers dished out four assists but also committed 12 turnovers.
As a team, WKU forced 31 turnovers and came away with 24 steals, tied for the third-most in a single game in program history and the most since notching 25 against Louisiana on Jan. 17, 1998. The Lady Toppers turned the 31 turnovers into 45 points and also outscored the Panthers 42-11 in bench points on the afternoon. WKU’s stout defense held FIU without a three-pointer (0-for-6) for the first time this season.
After neither side could gain much separation over the opening five minutes, WKU used 18 unanswered points to build its lead to 19 with just over two minutes remaining in the first quarter. Six different Lady Toppers scored during the run that was punctuated by Jaycee Coe’s three-pointer to give WKU an early 21-2 lead, led by Ivy Brown’s seven points. Goodin-Rogers connected on a three-pointer with 10 seconds left to send WKU into the second quarter with a 26-4 edge.
WKU’s lead grew to 30 points late in the second quarter, but the two sides battled almost evenly throughout the frame. FIU used two layups from Pound and Sydney Fields over the final 65 seconds of the half to cut the deficit to 41-15 heading into the halftime break.
FIU trimmed WKU’s lead under 30 points midway through the third quarter on Kristian Hudson’s jumper at the 5:42 mark, but the Lady Toppers fired back with 10 straight points from four different players. Micah Jones connected on a shot from beyond the arc to key the run and Akpan closed it with a three-point play to give WKU a 58-19 lead.
Following Ivy Brown’s jumper early in the fourth quarter, WKU never led by fewer than 40 points the rest of the way. The Lady Toppers’ lead grew to as many as 53 points on two different occasions as the strong defensive effort closed out the 90-38 victory.
After ending its five-game homestand with a perfect 5-0 record, WKU will return to the road for the first time in C-USA play next week as the Lady Toppers travel to face Charlotte and Old Dominion. WKU is set to clash with the 49ers on Thursday morning at 10:30 a.m. (CT) before battling the Lady Monarchs in a 3 p.m. (CT) Saturday afternoon tilt.
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 Media Relations