Lady Toppers to play home-and-home against Marshall

Marshall freshman guard Savannah Wheeler (left), WKU junior forward Raneem Elgedawy (top) and WKU redshirt senior forward Dee Givens (right) battle for possession during the women’s basketball game against Marshall on Thursday, Feb. 20. The Lady Toppers defeated the Thundering Herd 79-65.

Drew Toennies

WKU Lady Toppers head coach Greg Collins addressed members of the media prior to the Lady Toppers (2-6), (1-1, C-USA) second conference matchup against the Marshall Lady Thundering Herd (2-4), (1-3, C-USA). 

WKU wrapped up their conference play opener against the Louisiana Tech Lady Techsters (7-3), (2-2, C-USA) this past weekend, where WKU won 61-55 on Friday and fell short on Saturday 58-52 to split the series 1-1.

“We’re gonna worry about Thursday before we worry about Sunday,” Collins said about how the team will be approaching conference opponents. “We gotta learn how to play that second game. We gotta be able to adjust to the adjustments.”

Collins also talked about WKU’s Thursday night matchup against Marshall.

“They’re still aggressive. Offensively, they still push the ball, they’re still looking for quick shots,” Collins said. “They’re just like everybody around the country, trying to figure out how to do the best they can.”

Collins communicated that sophomore Savannah Wheeler is one of the offensive weapons that Marshall has to offer and talked about what the team will need to do to stop her.

“You can’t lose her,” Collins said. “And by losing her, you may think you’re guarding her, but you may not be close enough, because she can still get the shot off.”

According to Collins, rebounding will be one of the most important aspects of the game to work on in preparation for Marshall.

“If you got two teams who aren’t shooting the ball well, you better be good at rebounding,” Collins said. “That’s what it will come down to. Making sure we can defend and rebound.”

Although WKU lost 58-52 in Saturday’s game against LA Tech, freshman Hope Sivori had a career high 23 points to lead the team in scoring.

“They’re settling down. They’re getting more calm,” Collins said. “I felt like all the shots Hope Sivori took in that second game against LA Tech were good shots.”

Collins also gave a brief update on the situation with senior Raneem Elgedawy, who is looking to rejoin the team. As of two weeks ago, Raneem was still in Egypt and as of last week, she was on campus in quarantine.

According to Collins, there is not a set date for her return to the court. 

“She’s going through the process,” Collins said. “She’s anxious, she’s wanting to play, she wants to pick up where she left off.”

Collins also talked about how impactful Raneem’s return will be for the team.

“It’s 6-foot-4” big,” Collins said. “Raneem changes the court for us because she gives us a presence. It changes everything.”

WKU will be on the road to play Marshall in Cam Henderson Center for the first matchup at 5 p.m. on Thursday. Then Marshall will be traveling to Bowling Green with a 2 p.m. tip to play on Sunday for the concluding match of the series.

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