The WKU women’s basketball team continued their winning ways on Saturday in E.A. Diddle Arena, earning a 64-50 victory against Louisiana Tech to improve to 9-4 overall and 2-0 in Conference USA play. The Lady Toppers have won four straight games and are winners of eight of their last nine games.
Meral Abdelgawad was the leading scorer for WKU in her 100th straight start as a Lady Topper. She finished with 16 points and 14 rebounds for her third double-double of the season. Mya Meredith had her fourth straight in double figures with 14 points on 4-of-5 shooting from beyond the arc. She also had a career high eight rebounds.
Hope Sivori joined the two in double figures with 13 points with three 3-pointers. Selma Kulo had another impressive night with eight points, four boards and four blocks. Alexis Mead notched a new career mark in assists with seven on the night to go along with seven points, four rebounds and three steals.
“It’s a learning process,” said head coach Greg Collins. “How do you win a game when you make 29 turnovers? You better play some defense, you better rebound and you better not stop believing in what you do. I think that’s what I like the most about this team. They continue to be not just resilient, but they continue to show grit and guts and they keep believing in each other and themselves. That will go along way.”
LA Tech scored the first points of the game, but Abdelgawad quickly put WKU on the board with a steal and layup in transition. The Lady Techsters then went on a 6-0 run to go ahead. The Lady Toppers responded with a 12-0 run that turned into a 15-3 run to end the quarter with WKU ahead, 17-11.
WKU scored six straight points to open the second quarter, getting all three goals in transition after steals on the other end of the court. After a LA Tech timeout, the Lady Techsters used a 5-0 run to cut the lead back down to seven. Overall, LA Tech outscored WKU 14-9 in the last 7:30, but the Lady Toppers still took a 32-25 lead into halftime.
The Lady Toppers once against scored six straight points to open a quarter, this time making back-to-back threes from Abdelgawad and Meredith to open the third quarter. WKU held LA Tech to 10 points in the frame, with only four of those points coming from field goals.
LA Tech surged back in the fourth quarter, using a 10-0 run to make it a one-point game with 6:39 left. Mead ended the run with a three from the wing to push the lead back out to four points. The Lady Techsters followed with a layup on the next possession to once again get within a single possession. Abdelgawad drove into the paint on the next play and scored on a contested layup. The senior then got a defensive rebound on LA Tech’s missed shot and Sivori knocked down her third three of the game on the other end. Once again, the Lady Techsters missed their next shot and Abdelgawad came up with the rebound. Macey Blevins put WKU back ahead by 10 with a three of her own. From there, LA Tech made three free throws and WKU was able to put the Lady Techsters away with baskets from Kulo and Abdelgawad and a three from Meredith.
The Lady Toppers improve to 22-4 under Collins when holding teams under 60 points, including a 4-0 record when doing so this season.
WKU has made 11 3-pointers in back-to-back games. The Lady Toppers have 10-or-more threes in five games this season and are 5-0 when doing so.
WKU returns to action on Saturday, Jan. 8 at FIU. That game is slated for a noon (CT) start.