Two Lady Toppers nab weekly awards

Freshman guard Meral Abdelgawad makes a pass during the Lady Toppers’ win over Old Dominion on Saturday.

Drake Kizer

Sophomore forward Raneem Elgedawy and freshman guard Meral Abdelgawad both received Conference USA weekly awards, the league announced Monday.

Elgedawy was named C-USA Player of the Week, while Abdelgawad and Middle Tennessee guard Taylor Sutton were named C-USA Co-Freshman of the Week.

Elgedawy and Abdelgawad are the first pair of Lady Toppers to sweep the C-USA weekly awards since Tashia Brown and Elgedawy on Dec. 18, 2017.

On that date, Brown won Player of the Week and Elgedawy was tabbed Freshman of the Week.

While Elgedawy won Freshman of the Week four times a season ago, the honor is Elgedawy’s first Player of the Week nod and WKU’s first Player of the Week award this season.

Following her third award of the year, Abdelgawad has now been named the C-USA Freshman of the Week in three of the last four weeks.

WKU (11-8, 5-0 C-USA) cruised to a pair of easy road wins against Florida International (3-16, 0-6 C-USA) on Jan. 17 and Florida Atlantic (3-16, 0-6 C-USA) on Jan. 19 thanks to a pair of dynamic performances from the Egyptian duo.

Elgedawy was unstoppable during the Lady Toppers’ trip to Florida, averaging a double-double with 26.5 points and 12.5 rebounds per game.

Elgedawy accounted for 25 rebounds and 53 of the Lady Toppers’ 175 total points in the two-game stretch, good for nearly a third of the team’s scoring.

In addition to a career-best 28 points against FIU, Elgedawy also grabbed nine rebounds and netted the first 3-pointer of her time on the Hill against the Panthers.

Elgedawy enjoyed perhaps the most complete game of her career against FAU, as the sophomore completed her third double-double of the year at halftime. Elgedawy finished the game with a team-high 25 points, 16 rebounds, five steals and two blocks.

Following the Florida swing, Elgedawy became the first WKU post player to notch a pair of consecutive 25-point games since Chastity Gooch in January 2014.

Abdelgawad also continued her stretch of solid performances, extending her streak of double-digit scoring games to four. Abdelgawad aided her scoring run by shooting over 60 percent from the field during both of the Lady Toppers’ games in the Sunshine State.

Abdelgawad scored 11 points against the Panthers and added another 13 points against the Owls. Abdelgawad helped the Lady Toppers extend second half leads in both contests, scoring 15 of her 24 total points in the final two periods of each game.

Abdelgawad also tallied three steals, two rebounds and two assists in Florida.

Through WKU’s five C-USA matchups, both Elgedawy and Abdelgawad rank among the best players in the entire conference statistically.

Elgedawy is currently the only player in C-USA who ranks in the top five in both scoring and rebounding per game in conference play, while Abdelgawad leads all C-USA freshmen in both scoring and steals in league action and ranks second among all newcomers in field goal percentage.

The Lady Toppers will take the floor for their next game Thursday at 6 p.m. in Diddle Arena against Southern Mississippi.

Women’s basketball reporter Drake Kizer can be reached at 270-745-2653 and [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at @drakekizer_.