Lady Toppers hold off ULM in close win

Sophomore guard Alexis Govan jumps for a rebound during the WKU vs ULM game at Diddle Arena in Bowling Green, Ky. on Wednesday February 20.

Elliott Pratt

The Lady Toppers survived a half-court heave at the final buzzer to leave Diddle Arena with a 65-63 win over Louisiana-Monroe Wednesday night.

WKU (19-7, 12-5 Sun Belt Conference) opened the evening distributing evenly with four different players scoring the first eight points of the game.

It took ULM nearly 10 minutes to score its first field goal. Once the Lady Warhawks found their rhythm, they rallied an impressive 16-4 run to close out the first half with a bit of momentum.

Coach Michelle Clark-Heard said turnovers were the difference in allowing a late ULM surge.

“We kept turning it over. We had possession after possession where we would turn it over instead of making a good pass,” Heard said. “That’s been our Achilles’ heel, but they didn’t get down on themselves at any time.”

Sophomore guard Alexis Govan’s jumper on WKU’s first possession of the second half was the only field goal the Lady Toppers scored until the 12:06 mark. By that time the Lady Warhawks had pulled the score to within two at 43-41.

The momentum turned back in favor of the Lady Toppers with a three-point shot from Govan, who said the team needed the settle down in order to get out of their second half slump.

“We got in the huddle and told each other to calm down,” Govan said. “We had to stop panicking and get back to playing where we were with a lot of energy.”

Govan led all scorers with 27 points including a 90-percent outing from the free throw line.

Sophomore forward Chastity Gooch fouled out of the game with 1:28 to play, but recorded her 21st double-double of the year after dropping in 14 points and 12 rebounds.

The Lady Warhawks rallied once again in the final two minutes but fell short as the Lady Toppers grabbed the win.

WKU will go for its 20th win of the year, a feat the team hasn’t accomplished since the 2009-10 season, when they travel to Louisiana-Lafayette Saturday evening.  Tip-off is set for 5:00 p.m.