WKU ousts Alabama A&M, 96-44, in BB&T Classic opener

Senior Guard/Forward Alexis Govan, of San Antonio, Texas, takes a free throw in the Lady Toppers’ game against the University of Louisville at the Yum! Center, November 25, 2014. Justin Gilliland/HERALD

Jonah Phillips

The WKU women’s basketball team improved to 6-2 on the season with a 96-44 win over Alabama A&M (0-6) on Monday night in Diddle Arena in the first game of the Lady Toppers’ annual BB&T Classic.

The Lady Toppers have now won three games in six days.

Senior guard/forward Alexis Govan and freshman guard Tashia Brown — off the bench — led the Lady Toppers in scoring on the night with 18 points apiece. Govan also notched eight rebounds and three assists.

“(Tashia) has a ton of talent, and what we are trying to do is get her comfortable, and when she comes in, to feel free to mix right in with the offense,” Head Coach Michelle Clark-Heard said. 

Sophomore forward Bria Gaines and freshman forward Ivy Brown also had big games coming off the bench. Gaines was 5-7 with 12 points and seven rebounds in the second half, and Brown managed seve offensive rebounds to her team-high of 10.

“It seems like in different games, different people step up and play great,” Heard said. “We know we are going to need that moving forward in the season.”

The Lady Toppers jumped out to a 24-7 lead at the 14-minute mark in the first half, but would allow Alabama A&M back within six before halftime.

“We were up by 16 and they cut it to six, and the most important thing we can do is figure out how to get better — that’s why I was really proud of them in the second half,” Heard said. “I think we came out more focused and I think we just got into the flow of things, then the bench came in. I was just very happy.”

WKU outscored Alabama A&M 49-13 in the second half, with seemingly the entire roster contributing. The Lady Toppers had 43 points off the bench.

“The biggest thing we can do in games like this is keep making sure they are getting comfortable as well as getting comfortable playing with different people,” Heard said of her bench players. “Tashia played great, the bench in general came in a provided a pretty big spark, so I was happy with that.”

The Lady Toppers look to keep the momentum going, as they take on Ole Miss in Diddle Arena at 7 p.m. on Thursday.

“With Ole Miss, we know their level of competition will be higher,” senior guard Ileana Johnson said. “So we are ready for that, and these next few practices we will adjust.”