Lady Toppers fall in final home game

Tyler Lashbrook

WKU (20-9, 13-7 Sun Belt Conference) dropped its last home game to Middle Tennessee State 71-54 Saturday.

Much like the first matchup, the final score does not show how close the game was for much of the afternoon.

The Lady Toppers were down by three points with 8:28 left to play but were unable to keep with the Lady Raiders down the stretch.

MTSU senior guard Kortni Jones had just two points on 1-of-12 shooting with less than eight minutes left in the game before erupting for 16 points in the game’s final minutes.

She finished with 18 points on 7-of-21 from the field.

Lady Raider coach Rick Insell wasn’t surprised by Jones’ late scoring stretch.

“Kortni is a special young lady,” Insell said. “She’s unstoppable when she wants to be unstoppable.”

Jones finished off the Lady Toppers late but the tide began to turn minutes before, when foul trouble struck WKU.

Sophomore forward Chastity Gooch picked up her fourth foul with over 12 minutes left in the second half when WKU was down by three and sat for eight minutes.

When she returned the Lady Toppers were losing by 11 points.

Gooch made history in the loss, however, by recording her 23rd double-double of the season surpassing assistant coach SheRae Mansfield and setting a WKU record.

Gooch said that Mansfied kept pushing her to get better.

“I just played and it came to me – I broke the record.” Gooch said.

She finished the day with 15 points, 10 rebounds, three steals and two blocks.

Despite losing its last two games, WKU earned a first round bye in the Sun Belt Tournament.

The tourney begins March 8 in Hot Springs, Ark.