Lady Toppers lose two players, add one

Lucas Aulbach

The Lady Topper basketball roster is experiencing upheaval a month after WKU’s season ended in the Women’s National Invitation Tournament.

Two key players in WKU’s turnaround season — freshman guard LeAsia Wright and freshman forward Mariah Sunkett — will transfer before the seat of next season and the Lady Toppers will add another player in junior college transfer guard Jasmine Crawford.

Coach Michelle Clark-Heard announced the roster moves in a statement Monday afternoon.

“This season, LeAsia Wright and Mariah Sunkett played a big part in helping us grow our program back towards the level it needs to be,” Heard said. “In meeting with each of them after the season, as we do with all of our players, we agreed that it would be in their best interests to continue their careers elsewhere. I appreciate all of their hard work this season and our entire staff will continue to be a resource for them in any way possible.”

Wright and Sunkett were key reserves for WKU this season.

Wright, a 5-8 guard, averaged 14.4 minutes per game and put up 3.3 points and 1.9 rebounds per contest.

Sunkett, a 6-1 forward, played in 15 games this season and averaged 0.5 points and 0.5 rebounds.

They are the only two players from this year’s team that will not be back next season. The Lady Topper roster included no seniors this season.

Crawford, the newest addition for WKU, helped lead Chipola Junior College to the quarterfinals of the  NJCAA Tournament this season, will have two seasons of eligibility remaining when she joins WKU next season. She averaged 10.1 points, 2.1 rebounds and 3.5 assists this season.

Heard, entering her second year as WKU’s coach, said she is excited to add a true point guard to the Lady Topper roster.

“After speaking with her and having her on campus, I am very excited about the things she can bring to the table for us,” she said. “I am excited to get her on the court and coach her. She has been in winning programs throughout her career and we are all looking forward to her bringing that winning attitude to The Hill.”

The Lady Toppers had one of their strongest seasons in recent memory this year, going 22-11 just one season after finishing a 9-21 campaign.

Crawford joins four others — forward Bria Gaines, forward Aleeya Harris, center Ruta Savickaite, and guard Kierra Muhammad — as newcomers for next season.