Lady Toppers win triple overtime affair, sweep Charlotte

Western Kentucky University Lady Toppers Meral Abdelgawad (40) yells out “lets go!” following a big play against Charlotte on Jan. 30, 2021. 

Drew Toennies

Last Friday the Lady Toppers forced triple overtime against Charlotte for the first time in program history. The Lady Toppers (5-9), (4-4,C-USA) claimed their first sweep of the season over Charlotte (5-6), (4-2, C-USA) over the weekend to level out at .500 for the first time in Conference USA play.

WKU junior Meral Abdelgawad was the hero, knocking down a three pointer at the buzzer to upset Charlotte 100-99.

Abdelgawad was emotional following her game winning shot. She said she won the game thinking of her dad who passed away last summer.

“He’s always with me every game that I play,” Abdelgawad said. “I promised my dad before he died that I would play every game hard just for him.”

The Lady Toppers came out on top Saturday night 65-64 in regulation as opposed to overtime the night before. Senior Raneem Elgedawy paced all scorers on the floor, leading the offense with 20 points while grabbing 13 rebounds.

The Lady Toppers’ next conference opponent is the Florida Atlantic Lady Owls who are 3-7 overall and have fallen to 1-5 in conference play after splitting their last series against FIU. The Lady Owls took game one in a 73-69 victory, but fell just short in the second game as they lost 65-62.

FAU has not played since its series against FIU, which took place Jan. 15-16. The Lady Owls split their last series with a home-and-home matchup against the Panthers.

The Lady Owls won 73-69 Jan. 15 and lost the next night in Miami 65-62 on Jan. 16.

Despite being 1-5 in conference play, Florida Atlantic is still one of the better offensive performers in the conference, as they average 72.6 points per game.

“We know that’s a different team,” redshirt sophomore Myriah Haywood said of Florida Atlantic. “They’re a little bit bigger than us but when you go in high great things happen. So as long as we keep our confidence we’ll be fine.”

FAU graduate Iggy [Allen] is the Lady Owls’ top performer, as she aver- ages 20.4 points per game and scored 24 points in the Lady Owls’ 73-69 win over FIU. Allen is currently one of the top offensive players in the conference — ranked third with 204 points.

“I’m aware that Iggy Allen can score,” WKU head coach Greg Collins said on Saturday night. “I’m sure our players will be up for the challenge, and we’ll find a way that gives us the best opportunity to compete and have a chance to win that game.”

One of the Lady Toppers’ top performers is senior Fatou Pouye who regularly averages 11.1 points per game. Pouye’s season high is 21 points, which she scored in a conference match against LA Tech. Pouye is ranked 23rd in the conference with 155 points scored.

Another offensive machine at WKU’s disposal is Elgedawy. She has averaged 20.7 points per game and got close to breaking her all-time high of 29 points in the first match against MTSU, where she scored 26.

The Lady Toppers will host the Lady Owls this weekend at home Feb. 5-6. Tip off is scheduled for 7 p.m. both days.

Women’s basketball beat reporter Drew Toennies can be reached at drew. [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @drew_toennies.