Lady Toppers force 26 turnovers, beat Belmont 66-50

Baylor freshman forward Nina Davis tries to save the ball from going out of bounds while WKU junior forward Chastity Gooch steps back during the first round of the 2014 NCAA Divison I Women’s Basketball Championship at the Ferrell Center in Waco, Texas on Saturday March 22, 2014. (Jeff Brown/HERALD)

Jonah Phillips

It was a defensive battle that pushed WKU (11-2) past Belmont (3-10) in Nashville Monday night with a score of 66-50. 

The Lady Toppers, who had shot at least 50 percent from the field in their five previous matchups were held to just 42 percent off of 57 attempts. 

Belmont dominated the boards on the night, out-rebounding the Lady Toppers 26-42.  WKU mustered just three offensive rebounds to Belmont’s 12.  


WKU was able to hold the Bruins scoreless for a stretch of 6:56 minutes in the second half in which the Lady Toppers scored 12 points. Later, the Bruins would score their last basket with 4:11 left to play, and were held scoreless for the rest of the match. 

Senior All-American candidate Chastity Gooch had a big night for the Lady Toppers, leading the team with 24 points (16 first-half), seven steals, and six rebounds.  Gooch shot 3-5 from behind the arc.

Senior captain Alexis Govan managed 9 points in the first half, but finished with 17 and a single rebound, steal, and assist. Govan scored 10 of her 17 points after Belmont cut a WKU lead to one in the second half. She has now shot 70 percent or higher in the last five contests. 

The Lady Toppers scored 30 points off of turnovers on the evening, forcing Belmont to turn the ball over 26 times.  Belmont was averaging 18 turnovers per game going into the contest.

Redshirt sophomore Kendal Noble was knocking on the door of a double-double, notching 9 points and 9 rebounds for WKU.  

Micah Jones conducted the Lady Topper offense with 7 assists, adding 11 points.

The match concludes non-conference play for the Lady Toppers, as Head Coach Michelle Clark-Heard now boasts a 17-2 December record since taking over the program. This marks the second time in program history the team has reached 11 wins before January. 

The Lady Toppers now face a three-game road swing to begin play in their inaugural season in Conference USA, beginning in Huntington, W. Virginia, against Marshall on Jan. 4.