Lady Toppers return to Diddle Arena for first ever C-USA home showcase

Senior guard Alexis Govan jumps for a rebound against two Ole Miss defenders during the second half of WKU’s game against Ole Miss on Dec. 4. Govan led all scorers with 22 points as the Lady Toppers defeated the Rebels 98-69. Brandon Carter/HERALD

Jonah Phillips

The Lady Topper basketball team returns to Diddle Arena Thursday for its first home game since December 21 against Ball State.  WKU (14-2, 3-0) is on an 11-game win streak, started Conference USA play with three road victories, and is undefeated in its six home games this season.

“It’s hard to win on the road, and I just think that every team gave us their best shot,” Head Coach Michelle Clark-Heard said. “There were times when they would tie the ball game, or we would only be up by three, and our players just kept playing and never faltered.”

Despite notching a No. 25 ranking in the Associated Press poll on the week of January 5 and winning two subsequent road conference matchups, the Lady Toppers were edged out of the top 25 by Syracuse by 13 points.  

“That’s just the way things go,” Clark-Heard said. “You have different games going on and we know and understand that.  We went out there and we did what we needed to do and right now we are just focusing on us, trying to get better each and every day.”

Now WKU returns to E.A. Diddle Arena for its first ever home C-USA showcase, taking on Florida Atlantic on Thursday at 11 am, hosting the Spread the Red Education Day. 

Combined with four home games from last season, the Lady Toppers have won their last 10 home games.  This season WKU is winning home games by an average of 31.7 points and holding teams to an average of just 56.2 points. The Lady Toppers have scored 90+ points in six of its last 10 games at home.

Senior Chastity Gooch leads the Lady Toppers with 292 points in all competitions this season, shooting an impressive 51.7 percent from the field.

Though in conference play it has been fellow Senior Alexis Govan that has spearheaded the Lady Topper attack.  She shot a 61.9 percent average from the field in the Lady Toppers three road conference victories.

“We just come out here every day with the mindset of worrying about the things we can control,” Govan said. “That’s coming out here, playing hard, and winning games.”

The veteran leadership provided by the duo has been crucial to the Lady Toppers success all season.

“It has been so important for us this season,” Clark-Heard said. “I have had the opportunity to watch them grow and now they are in their prime where they are helping the younger players and putting us in situations where we can be successful.”

The Lady Toppers have also won their last six games on the road, six road conference games and last 13 games against conference competition.

Florida Atlantic (8-6, 2-1) has never won in E.A. Diddle Arena in seven meetings with the program since the 2005-2006 season.