Lady Toppers look for NCAA Tournament win against Oregon State

WKU women’s basketball head coach Michelle Clark-Heard reacts to the reveal of their initial opponent for the NCCA tournament at Mister B’s restaurant on Monday, Mar. 12.

Alec Jessie

After winning the Conference USA tournament on Saturday, WKU women’s basketball learned its seeding and matchup on Monday: The 11th-seeded Lady Toppers will take on sixth-seeded Oregon State University.

WKU has played Oregon State just once before in program history, and the Lady Toppers won that game 85-73 on March 19, 1995.

WKU athletics director Todd Stewart said he was pleased with the spot the Lady Toppers have in the tournament.

“I’m very happy about it” Stewart said after the matchup was revealed. “It was nice to see us get an 11 seed. I think that’s a sign of respect from the committee for what our team did this year.”

The 11 seed is the highest seed WKU has received since the 2008 NCAA tournament when the committee awarded the Lady Toppers a 10 seed.

He was also thrilled about the location of the game.

“It’s a very historic venue” said Stewart. “It’s close enough where our fans can get there but far enough that it will have a tournament feel.”

After winning the C-USA tournament, the Lady Toppers clinched a tournament berth for the second straight season and the fourth time in the last six seasons under head coach Michelle Clark-Heard.

Oregon State finished 23-7 overall and fell to Arizona State University in the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 tournament. 

Marie Gulich leads the Beavers, as she averages a team-high 17.1 points per game and a team high 8.9 rebounds per game.

WKU is looking for its first tournament win since 2000, which would improve the program’s all-time tournament record to 17-19. A win would also set WKU up with a second round matchup against the winner of University of Tennessee vs. Liberty University. 

The Lady Toppers clinched a tournament berth via C-USA’s automatic bid. WKU beat University of Alabama-Birmingham 72-57 in the conference tournament championship. 

Oregon State and WKU will top off at 11 a.m. on Friday. The game can be found on ESPN2.

Sports reporter Alec Jessie can be reached at 502-648-7190 and [email protected] Follow Alec on Twitter at @Alec_Jessie.