Lady Toppers put on a show for local students, trounce Georgia State 80-59

Lady Topper forward Chastity Gooch shoots the ball over Georgia State’s Jamila Mayfield during the second half of the Lady Toppers 82-59 win in Diddle Arena Wednesday, Jan. 8.

Kyle Williams

Thousands of local area students filed into Diddle Arena to watch WKU notch its second Sun Belt Conference victory of the season over first-time foe Georgia State as a part of the third Spread the Red Education Game on Wednesday afternoon.

The Lady Toppers shot an effective 50 percent from the field and five players reached double figures en route to an 80-59 blowout of GSU. Junior guard Alexis Govan and sophomore forward Jalynn McClain, who both start regularly for the Lady Toppers, did not dress because of injury.

Senior guard Bianca McGee said the team was excited to play in front of the exciting ambience made possible by local area students.

“It was great,” McGee said. “They were loud…we were excited that they got to come out and see us play. We got to put on a show for them and get the win. It was just an awesome atmosphere.”

WKU jumped out to an early 14-5 lead through the first four minutes of the game before a small Georgia State run brought the Lady Panthers within six points of the Lady Toppers with nine minutes remaining in the half.

The Lady Toppers went into halftime with an 11-point cushion and belted out a 7-0 run to begin the second half behind strong play from McGee and sophomore guard Micah Jones, who scored 18 of their combined 27 points in the second half.

Noble said the Lady Toppers came out of the locker room with momentum to begin the second half.

“Everybody just had confidence,” Noble said. “We came out and didn’t really score that much, but then in the second half shots started falling and everybody was excited.”

The Lady Toppers shot 56 percent off 15-of-27 shooting, including 3-of-4 from three-point territory in the second half to solidify the win.

Junior forward Chastity Gooch led the way for WKU with 18 points. Jones added 14 points and four assists while Noble totaled 13 points, four rebounds, three blocks and three steals.

Coach Michelle Clark-Heard said she was proud of her team, who she says continues to grow each time they collectively step on the court.

“I’m just super proud of our group,” Heard said. “It’s just a special group. Every day I feel like I challenge them and push them to every limit so they can want to be the best. They come out and they just continue to keep growing each and every game.”

The Lady Toppers will host Arkansas-Little Rock to continue conference play on Jan 15. At 7:00 p.m. CT in Diddle Arena.