Lady Toppers drop close one to South Alabama

Freshman guard Micah Jones puts up a shot against a South Alabama defender. The Lady Hilltoppers lost 65-59.

Tyler Lashbrook

WKU (20-8, 13-6 Sun Belt Conference) dropped its sixth game in the Sun Belt Conference Wednesday night to South Alabama 65-59.

The first half was a cold one for the Lady Toppers, who shot just 11-of-29 from the field, including 3-of-11 from three-point range.

Freshman forward Brianna Wright topped her season average of 8.2 points per game with 10 in the first half on four-of-five shooting.

Still the Lady Toppers found themselves down just three points at the end of the first half.

The second half seemed to be a different story for the Lady Toppers.

In the first seven minutes WKU went on a 14-4 run to take a 44-37 lead after junior guard Chaney Means knocked down a three-point attempt.

From there the game became a back-and-forth affair.

With 1:49 left in the game and the score knotted at 56, Govan knocked down a clutch three-point shot from the left wing.

USA was unable to convert on their next possession and with a three-point lead and a little over a minute left on the clock Govan shot another three-pointer.

However, this one was, as coach Michelle Clark-Heard said, rushed and rimmed off the left side of the backboard.

The Lady Jaguars came down and hit a quick three-pointer of their own.

The Lady Toppers brought the ball up but came up empty – sophomore forward Chastity Gooch was called for a foul on an over-the-back call and USA converted its following free throws.

Heard then drew up a play that got Gooch a good look near the rim but she was unable to convert.

USA connected on all fourteen of their free throw attempts during the game, including six in the final 39 seconds.

“It’s disappointing because we were right there on our home court and let another one slip away from us,” Heard said.

The Lady Toppers will need to put this game in the back of their minds quick as they will face the No. 1 team in the Sun Belt, MTSU, on Saturday afternoon.

Heard said she hopes for big things from her squad this weekend.

“It’s not just that it’s Middle,” Govan said. “It’s that it’s our last home game and we want to show this crowd what we’ve worked for all season long. We want to go out with a bang.”