Lady Toppers use first-half onslaught, 3-pointers to bury Roadrunners by 28 points

WKU’s Dee Givens shot 7 for 15 from the floor, helping lead WKU to an 85-57 win. She hit four threes in the game, shooting 36.4% from deep.

Matt Stahl

“Who wants a T-shirt?”

The question rang from the public address system in Diddle Arena on Saturday afternoon. It was rhetorical. The fans obviously wanted T-shirts.

The WKU women’s basketball team (18-6, 10-3 C-USA) made 10 3-pointers in its 85-57 victory over Texas-San Antonio (6-18, 2-11 C-USA), and a good chunk of the 1,537 fans in attendance went home with a red shirt thrown into the audience by the cheerleaders.

“It helped our confidence to see the ball go in a little bit more than it had been,” head coach Greg Collins said postgame. “… It was good to see multiple people making multiple shots.”

The Lady Toppers opened the game cooking offensively. By the time the Roadrunners used their first timeout with 4:47 left in the first, WKU was leading 16-4 and redshirt senior forward Dee Givens already had eight points, including two 3-pointers.

By the end of the first, all five starters had scored and the Lady Toppers were shooting 56% from the field. All five starters had scored and WKU led 25-11.

Later in the half, the Lady Toppers went cold from the field, going on a scoring drought of almost three minutes before senior guard Whitney Creech sunk a layup. Givens followed with two three-pointers in a row.

“We just kept shooting,” Givens said postgame. “Everyone just stayed in the zone.”

Givens finished the game with 19 points, tied for the team lead with junior forward Raneem Elgedawy.

At halftime, the Lady Toppers had already beaten their season-best for 3-pointers in a game. They led 51-29.

WKU started the second half a little slower, but were helped by solid a solid defensive effort, Roadrunner turnovers and Elgedawy carving up the Roadrunners in the paint.

The center from Alexandria, Egypt had 12 points in the third and made 4-of-5 free throws to give the Lady Toppers a 74-48 lead entering the final frame.

Elgedawy would finish the game adding with seven rebounds as well, leading the team in that category.

The offensive onslaught slowed down significantly in the fourth quarter, as Collins opted to give his bench some minutes with the game already out of reach. The 3-point dominance also came to an end, with the Lady Toppers not making a single shot from downtown in the second.

“I was really proud at halftime because I talked to them about not falling in love with that three-point shot,” Collins said. “We weren’t going to come back out and make 10 more 3’s, and so I was really proud in the second half. They focused on getting the ball inside, taking care of the ball and executing the game plan.”

It turned out to not matter much, as the Roadrunners were unable to mount any sort of a comeback. The Lady Toppers walked away with a 28-point victory over a lowly UTSA squad.

Following the win, the Lady Toppers will be back in action at home on Thursday against Marshall (11-13, 6-7 C-USA). The 6 p.m. game will be available for viewing on ESPN3.

Sports Columnist and Projects Editor Matt Stahl can be reached at [email protected] Follow Matt on Twitter at @mattstahl97.