WKU wallops Ole Miss, 98-69, secures first win over SEC opponent in six years

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

Kyle Williams

The Lady Toppers used early runs in the first and second half to pace a 98-69 win over Ole Miss on Thursday, marking WKU’s first win over a Southeastern Conference opponent in approximately six years.

The victory also extended the Lady Toppers’ home winning streak to eight games dating back to last season.

WKU (7-2) orchestrated a 20-0 run in the first half to jump out to a 29-6 lead with 10:35 remaining before using a 13-0 run in the early stages of the second half to extend that lead to 61-26 with better than 17 minutes to play.

The Lady Toppers led by as much as 42, outscored Ole Miss 24-8 in fast break points and assisted on 23 of 30 made field goals.

WKU shot 56.6 percent from the field, netting 30-of-53 attempted shots.

“We shot the ball actually really, really well tonight,” Head Coach Michelle Clark-Herad said. “What I told them, and the staff and I talked to them about was, when you have open shots, shoot them with confidence. This was a game that I’m really excited the ball went in the hole for us early.”

Senior guard/forward Alexis Govan, who came in averaging 17.8 points and 6.4 rebounds in the past five games, put together a 22-point, seven-rebound performance to pace WKU.

“We put it together on offense,” Govan said. “We started off the game sitting down and guarding on defense, and that was really important for us.”

Redshirt sophomore guard Kendall Noble and junior guard Micah Jones each added 20 points, giving the Lady Toppers three 20-point scorers for the first time since Jan, 30, 2013 against Troy. Noble added nine rebounds, eight assists and seven steals while Jones netted 12-of-15 free throws.

Senior forward Chastity Gooch chipped in 17 points, eight rebounds, five assists and three blocks.

The Lady Toppers will look to extend its current eight-game home win streak on Saturday against Alabama State at 2 p.m.