Tough second half stops Lady Toppers at Vanderbilt

WKU junior forward Alexis Govan drives past Vanderbuilt Freshman guard Kylee Smith while teamate junior forward Chastity Gooch watched during the second half of their game Monday night. WKU lost the game 60-85 in Nashville,Tn. Ian Maule/Herald

Kyle Williams

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Lady Topper basketball team took its first loss of the season in Nashville Monday night in a nonconference game against Vanderbilt.

WKU (1-1) fell to the Lady Commodores 85-60 at Memorial Gymnasium.

The Lady Toppers haven’t prevailed against Vandy since the 1998-99 season and are now a combined 12-22 all-time against the Lady Commodores.

Senior guard Chaney Means started the game off well for the Lady Toppers with two steals in the first two minutes of play, which led to five early points off turnovers. The Lady Toppers forced a total of five Vandy turnovers in the first four minutes of action.

WKU shot the ball at a 53 percent clip during the first 10 minutes of play led by junior guard Alexis Govan, with six points on 3-of-5 shooting. Vandy recorded eight turnovers in the first 10 minutes and was just five-of-15 from the field.

Govan said the Lady Toppers came out ready to play, but they lost momentum after making a few miscues to let the Lady Commodores back in the game.

“Early on we had a lot of energy,” Govan said. “We came out there ready to fight and I think we sort of had a few mix ups and a few mistakes and we got down on ourselves…we just dug a little hole and when we tried to come out of it, it was a little too late.”

The Lady Commodores answered the Lady Toppers’ strong play with an 18-3 run to end the first half, led by senior guard Christina Foggie, who tallied 21 points off an efficient 6-of-8 shooting from the field.

Govan and senior guard Bianca McGee led the Lady Toppers with nine and eight points, respectively, at the break. WKU finished the first half shooting 38 percent from the field compared to Vandy’s 42 percent.

The Lady Commodores were too much for the Lady Tops to handle coming out of halftime, though, as they extended their run to 37-8 within the first eight minutes of the second half and opened up a 20-point lead.

Coach Michelle Clark-Heard said that Vanderbilt, who led by as much as 26 points, was too much for WKU to handle in the second half.

“They went on a run,” Heard said. “All good teams go on runs…we weren’t making shots and starting turning it over at crucial situations.

“We lost people defensively…we just have to keep getting better. I think we competed, but…they were making shots in the second half and we struggled.”

Vandy finished the game four players in double figures, led by Foggie with 26. Govan led the Lady Tops with 18 points on seven-of-16 shooting and McGee added 15 off the bench. Junior forward Chastity Gooch picked up two early fouls and finished with just six points and five rebounds.

The Lady Tops welcome will Murray State to Diddle Arena on Saturday at 2 p.m. for another nonconference contest.