Lady Tops pick up C-USA road victory against FIU

WKU’s forward Simone Goods (00), heads to the hoop for two of her six points during the Lady Hilltopper’s 108-43 win over Ouachita Baptist University on Tuesday at Diddle Arena.

Evan Heichelbech

WKU went on the road Thursday night and earned its first conference road victory of the season, defeating Florida International University 71-69.

The Lady Tops haven’t been in many situations like they were against the Lady Panthers as they found themselves trailing by two points in the fourth quarter.

With 8:31 to play, sophomore forward Ivy Brown helped the Lady Tops go on a 10-3 scoring run where she scored four of her 16 points.

FIU had four players score in double figures led by guard Janka Hegedus who matched WKU junior guard Kendall Noble with a game-high 22 points.

This contest was a game of runs with 15 lead changes and 8 ties, including a 37-37 tie at halftime.

After trailing by 10 points halfway through the second quarter, FIU called timeout and then scored 11 unanswered points to take a one-point lead.

The Lady Panthers then went on a four minute scoring drought in the the fourth quarter, the beginning of which had featured competitive back-and-forth play. WKU built a healthy lead during this drought as they led by eight points with 30 seconds remaining.

The Lady Panthers cut the lead to just two in that short time span as Hegedus had a look at the basket at the buzzer to give FIU a chance to win the game. However she missed the shot as Noble and company successfully moved to 2-0 in league play.

Sophomore guard Tashia Brown joined Brown and Noble in double figures with 12 points. Freshman guard Dee Givens logged a valuable 20 minutes off the bench, providing 6 points and 5 rebounds. 

The victory over FIU moved the Lady Toppers’ record to 11-2 on the season and extended their current winning streak to eight games since they fell to Ole Miss on Dec. 2.

Defense has been the backbone of coach Michelle Clark-Heard’s squad during the streak. WKU has held seven straight opponents to 69 points or fewer and has been able to convert good defense into quick offense.

Another important key to the Lady Tops’ success has been rebounding. The 42-37 advantage gained against FIU marked the sixth straight game in which WKU won the battle of the boards.

The Lady Tops will return to action on the road against Florida Atlantic University on Saturday at 2:00 p.m.