Lady Toppers look to bounce back in Texas this weekend

WKU’s Chastity Gooch (30) releases a three-point attempt during Saturday’s game against Southern Miss at Diddle Arena in Bowling Green. The Hilltoppers ultimately fell to Southern Miss, 63-61. Photo by Nick Wagner/ WKU HERALD

Jonah Phillips

The Lady Toppers go on a Texas road swing for the second time in three weeks this weekend, starting off in Denton against North Texas on Thursday night. 

WKU (18-4, 7-2) is now 18-or-better through 22 games for the sixth time in program history, but is currently wading through a spell in which its lost two of its last three games. 

“We are still 18-4 and I want them to know and understand that,” Head Coach Michelle Clark-Heard said. “At the same time, I want them to know and understand that every day we need to work to be the very best that we can be, and when you don’t, we can get ourselves into situations like (against Southern Miss).”

Clark-Heard also believes that the matchup against North Texas (2-17, 1-7) will be tougher than their record may suggest. 

“When you look at North Texas and you look at their record, every single game they have been in till the end,” Clark-Heard said. “They have lost four games by 10 points or less, and I want to say the other games it has been no more than 15. What that tells you is there are going to be times in the game when they are going to be up and cause a lot of havoc on defense.”

The Lady Toppers will follow up their Thursday visit to North Texas with a Saturday trip to Houston to take on Rice (7-12, 2-6).

“We are just really focusing on defense and playing with energy,” junior guard Micah Jones said. “Last game, we didn’t come out with any energy, and we didn’t make stops. So, we are just going to go back to that and playing solid defense.”

Senior Alexis Govan, a Texas native, registered her career-high 40 points against North Texas on Dec. 28, 2012 in Diddle Arena.  She scored 57 points in 58 minutes against them in two games during the 2012-13 season. She will travel to her home state for the seventh and final time as a Lady Topper.

Coming back from the Texas road trip, the Lady Toppers will play five of their remaining seven conference games at Diddle Arena, where they are 9-1 at home this season.

“We control our own destiny, and that is something that we talk about each and every day,” Clark-Heard said. “They need to control the things that they can control, and thVat is playing hard and doing the things we’ve been doing to get us to this point.”