Lady Toppers get chance to recharge

Laura Beranek

With a weeklong break looming, the Lady Toppers halted a two game losing streak Wednesday evening by steamrolling Troy 98-80.

The season-high point total was a collective effort from WKU (16-5, 9-3 Sun Belt Conference), a far cry from the uncharacteristic low scoring performance of Sunday’s Middle Tennessee State matchup.

At MTSU, sophomore forward Chastity Gooch and sophomore guard Alexis Govan accounted for 46 of the teams’ total 57 points.

Coach Michelle Clark-Heard said she asked her players to step up and help Govan and Gooch against Troy.

All ten of the Lady Toppers in the lineup got on the floor, with eight of them contributing points in the victory over the Lady Trojans.

Govan, Gooch, and junior guard Bianca McGee posted a total of 68 points, led by McGee’s 24 — a career-high.

After the game, Heard said she was proud of the adjustments her team made.

“I liked that we were passing the ball and really good things as far as getting the ball to the right person at the right time,” she said, “Bianca McGee, Alexis — just everybody showed up today.”

Junior guard Chaney Means is credited led the team with 8 assists.

“I hope you all could see the unselfishness of our team. I think that’s what’s going to get us far,” Means said as her job a role player. “That’s how we won a lot of games in the beginning and that’s what we had to get back to.”

The Toppers now have a weeklong stretch without a game — they will travel to North Texas Feb. 7 to face another strong scoring offense.

The short break is good timing for the Lady Toppers to work on the defensive side of the ball. WKU had 23 turnovers Wednesday night, which Heard said is “still a problem for us.”

“It’s a chance for them to rest some, and then mentally,” Heard said, “We just started school back. So when you start school back there’s adjustments with classes and teachers and everything else. So I’m really glad we were able to get this one under our belt and then they’ll get a chance to get back and adjusted with classes and stuff.”

Heard also noted sophomore guard Ileana Johnson came back from Christmas break as a player she hadn’t seen since spring workouts.

Johnson says the teams’ break will be essential in future Sun Belt play.

“North Texas is going to be a challenge, “she said, “We’ve got to get a couple days of rest and then go hard these next couple days to prepare for NT.”

The Mean Green (8-13, 7-5 Sun Belt play) are on a five game win streak, led in scoring by freshman forward Alexis Hyder with 13 points per game.

Heard said her team will take the time until 5 p.m. tipoff in Denton to work and prepare, and said her players are “just excited each and every day to have the opportunity to play.”