The WKU women’s basketball team kept its hot streak going on Saturday afternoon in Florida with a 63-51 win against FIU to improve to 10-4 overall and 3-0 in Conference USA. The Lady Toppers have won five straight games and nine of their last 10 games.
Mya Meredith continued her impressive rookie season with 21 points. It was her second 20-point game in the last three and her fifth straight game scoring in double figures. Meredith tied her career highs in rebound (8) and steals (4) as well.
Meral Abdelgawad matched her with 21 points of her own. It is her seventh game of the season with 20-or-more points. The senior was 6-of-10 from the floor and a perfect 9-of-9 from the free throw line.
Jenna Walker had a career high nine points. Macey Blevins added seven points and Jaylin Foster pulled down seven rebounds.
Blevins knocked down a three just eight seconds into the game to get WKU on the board first. FIU’s first points came on free throws at the 8:55 mark. Abdelgawad then scored six straight points for the Lady Toppers. WKU ended the quarter on a 6-0 run with baskets by Meredith, Alexis Mead and Walker. The Lady Toppers held FIU to just seven points in the quarter and took an eight-point lead into the second period.
The Panthers chipped into the lead in the second quarter, outscoring WKU 20-16. Walker started the period off with a layup. Meredith scored nine of her points in the second quarter to keep WKU ahead. Abdelgawad added four of her own.
WKU opened the third quarter on a 9-2 run, but followed up by giving up an 8-0 run that brought the Panthers within three. Abdelgawad ended the period with a basket plus the free throw to end the run and push WKU back ahead by five going into the final quarter.
Meredith splashed a three to start the fourth quarter, but FIU followed with one of their own on the next play. Not to be outdone, Meredith came down and knocked down another trey on the next possession. She followed up a few minutes later with a layup for her eighth point of the quarter. With 3:02 left FIU cut the game to four points, but the Lady Toppers outscored the Panthers 12-4 from that point to clinch the win. That run included going 8-of-8 from the charity stripe.
WKU improves to 23-4 when holding teams below 60 points under head coach Greg Collins, including a 5-0 record when doing so this season.
The win gives WKU its 10th of the season. The Lady Toppers have reached 10 wins by mid-January in three of Collins’ four seasons at the helm. WKU is also 3-0 to start conference play for the second time in Collins’ tenure as head coach.
WKU will close out its road swing with a pair of games in the Lone Star State. The Lady Toppers will take on Rice on Jan. 13 and North Texas on Jan. 15. Rice is 5-4 on the season and 0-1 in C-USA play while North Texas is 6-4 overall and 0-0 in league play.