Lady Toppers drop third straight in Little Rock, five game homestand begins Wednesday

Senior forward Teal Battle (35) attempting a jump shot over Lady Topper senior forward Fatou Pouye (12). The Lady Trojans defeated WKU 63-47 on Dec. 13, 2020. 

Drew Toennies

The Lady Toppers (0-3) were unable to come back to win against the Lady Trojans (3-2) on Sunday evening in the second road game of the season. Little Rock came out on top 63-47. 

The Lady Toppers traveled to Little Rock, Arkansas for their first game in a series of four over the time span of nine days.

“I’m not happy with it at all,” head coach Greg Collins said. “We got outrebounded by about 15 again. We work constantly on defensive rebounding and still did not come up with those boards ending those possessions.” 

Collins also communicated that he’s unhappy that the team’s effort was unable to put points on the board, which was something evident in the Lady Toppers last two games.

“We’re still determined to dribble that ball into trouble,” Collins said. “That’s the part we work and work on, move the ball, move players.”  

Collins also talked about how his team was fouling way too frequently in today’s matchup.

“We’re reacting more than anticipating. To be a great basketball player, you kind of have to anticipate the play and be ahead of the game a little bit,” Collins said.

Collins said he was proud of how his team fought in the last quarter and a half.

“I was really proud of how Hope Sivori stepped in today and brought some good energy on the floor and pushed the ball down the floor,” Collins said.

The Lady Trojans won the tipoff beginning the game, but WKU freshman Ally Collett struck first on the scoreboard. Collett was fouled on the drive and went to the free throw line to shoot two. Collett made her second free throw to put the first points on the board.

Shortly after, the Lady Trojans managed to take the lead. With less than 5 minutes left in the first quarter, WKU trailed by three points.

The Lady Toppers were working together as a team as they distributed points between the starting lineup in the first quarter. Junior Meral Abdelgawad, Ally Collett, and freshman Jenna Kallenburg were all players putting points on the board for WKU.

“Well, game in and game out, I’m proud of Meral Abdelgawad. She comes and brings effort and energy every game,” Collins said.  

By the end of the first quarter, WKU managed to trim the lead down to one point going into the next quarter.

However, Little Rock managed to make adjustments before going into the second quarter and extended their lead to seven points.

Collett, who was leading WKU in scoring managed to cut that lead down as she made a layup and was fouled. Collett made one of the free throws to cut the lead down to four. Collett had six points at halftime.

Nearing the end of the quarter, Little Rock started to warm up and extend their lead once again.

Despite Coach Collins calling a timeout, the Lady Toppers were unable to stop Little Rock’s offense as the Lady Trojans went on a 7-0 run since the 2:31 mark of the quarter.

Going into the third quarter, Collett put the first points on the board cutting the point deficit down to nine points.

However, WKU was still unable to find the basket during a 5:09 span. Abdelgawad went 1-2 on the charity stripe to make it 42-22 Lady Trojans in the third quarter. 

It took roughly eight minutes before consecutive shots from the field were made by the Lady Toppers in the third frame of play. 

By the one minute mark of the third quarter, the Lady Trojans led the Lady Toppers by 19 points as the Lady Toppers were unable to put points on the board consistently.

Senior Fatou Pouye managed to knock down a three pointer in the final minute of the third quarter and followed up with another two point shot to cut the Lady Trojans lead down to 15 points.

Collins said that once Pouye managed to settle down, she was far more active in today’s game.

At the beginning of the fourth quarter, WKU went on a short run to cut Little Rock’s lead down to only nine points.

However, WKU’s offensive run was short as the Lady Trojans came back to put more points on the board. WKU had issues with turning the ball over, despite disrupting the Lady Trojans offense.

With 10 seconds left in the game, the Lady Trojans knocked down their first three point shot of the game to secure their victory 63-47.

The Lady Toppers will host Bellarmine on Wednesday opening up a five game homestand.

Collins talked about how having the next few games at home will help because of the fans. 

“We had a great crowd at home against Ball State,” Collins said. “It helps the girls be a little bit more comfortable on a court that they’re familiar with.”

Tipoff in Diddle Arena is set for 6 p.m. against the Knights. 

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