Lady Toppers excelling in C-USA road games

WKU forward Tashia Brown (10) looks for a layup during WKU’s game vs Notre Dame on November 14, 2017 in E.A. Diddle Arena. Brown had 26 points against LA tech on Sunday and won conference player of the week.

Tyler Mansfield

It’s difficult in any sport to go on the road and win at an opposing team’s venue, especially in conference play.

Since joining Conference USA in 2014-15, the WKU women’s basketball team has excelled in winning league games away from Diddle Arena.

The Lady Toppers are now 25-6 in road C-USA contests over the past four seasons, and with a win over Louisiana Tech on the road Sunday, WKU improved to a perfect 5-0 over the Lady Techsters on the road.

Sunday’s game wrapped up a three game road swing for WKU – one that it went an unscathed 3-0 on. Prior to beating the Lady Techsters, the Lady Toppers won 86-66 at Marshall last Sunday and followed that performance with a 79-65 victory over North Texas on Friday.

“What I’m really proud of is that they were different games,” WKU head coach Michelle Clark-Heard said in a radio interview following Sunday’s game. “We had a big lead, then we come back – and that’s the growth part. Making right decisions at the right time. It just says a lot about how the unity of the team is growing … I think our chemistry has really gotten better and better.”

WKU’s recent success in road games has helped tremendously in 2017-18, as 13 of its 21 matchups this season – four of those being C-USA games – have happened away from Bowling Green.

Opening the non-conference season in the 2017 Hawkeye Challenge in Iowa City, Iowa, and then playing at tough places like Indiana and Ball State helped prepare the Lady Toppers for their conference road games. WKU suffered a 79-61 loss at Alabama-Birmingham on January 13 but hasn’t suffered a league loss since.

“We just want to continue doing the things we’re doing good,” Clark-Heard said last Wednesday. “I feel like we’ve shot the ball pretty well, we’ve rebounded, we’ve gone to the free-throw line and made our free throws, and we take care of the basketball.”

With the college basketball regular season continuing to wind down and get closer to March, WKU hopes to continue its winning ways, but it won’t be simple.

“We’re going to have to continue to keep working on those things to be able to win on the road,” Clark-Heard said.

The Lady Toppers have eight C-USA contests remaining, and half of those are on the road. After playing a pair of games at home, WKU will head west for a Feb. 10 meeting at Rice before traveling down I-65 for a showdown against longtime rival Middle Tennessee Feb. 15 in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

Clark-Heard’s team will then close its conference regular season with tilts at Southern Mississippi and Texas-El Paso.

“We have to grow every game,” Clark-Heard said earlier this season after a win over Mississippi Valley State and has repeated multiple times. “We have to take a lot of positives, and we’ve gotta learn about the things we’ve gotta get better at. That’s the most important thing I’m trying to do every single game.”

Sports Reporter Tyler Mansfield can be reached at 270-935-0007 and [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @_TylerMansfield.