For the second consecutive game, WKU trailed by double-digits on the road. The Lady Tops came roaring back against Old Dominion on Thursday night and got out of Norfolk with an overtime victory. But there was not enough comeback in the Lady Tops on Saturday at Charlotte, as the Lady Tops fell 81-72.
The 49ers raced out to a 10-0 lead and set the tone early.
“We didn’t play well when we came out early. We didn’t have that focus, that’s why we got down 10-0,” associate head coach Greg Collins said in a radio interview. “Charlotte deserves this win. We got what we earned and that was a loss tonight.”
WKU grabbed its first lead of the game in the closing seconds of the first quarter on a Kayla Smith three-ball.
The teams traded leads three times before heading into the the half in a 33-33 tie.
“We settled in and we were playing better but they were just a lot more focused,” Collins said.
The Lady Tops fell behind again in the third quarter and kept fighting back in spurts, but ultimately could not stay out in front of the 49ers.
“We didn’t do a good team effort on the boards tonight,” Collins said. “We were fouling and this is not a team that you wanna put on the free throw line.”
Charlotte had five players in double-digits led by guard Lefty Webster who netted 19 points. Guards Grace Hunter and Kira Gordon had 18 and 16 points, respectively. Double-double machine Alexis Alexander scored 15 points and Laia Raventos joined the double-digit club with 10 points of her own.
Kendall Noble led WKU with 19 points and Ivy Brown and Tashia Brown chipped in 14 and 10 points, respectively.
The Lady Tops will look to regroup and get a home victory over Middle Tennessee at 8 p.m. on Thursday.
“At this point, each game is important,” Collins said. “I think you can look back to the previous two years and both of those conference tournaments that we won, the combined total margin of victory was 11 points. We didn’t win a single game by double-digits.”
Collins also said that getting a bye in the conference tournament is a goal the Lady Tops are focusing on down the stretch.
The Lady Toppers will be back in action Thursday as they take on Middle Tennessee (17-7, 11-2 Conference USA) at Diddle Arena. Tipoff is scheduled for 8 p.m.