Lady Toppers win big at home

Junior guard Bianca McGee passes the ball during Saturday’s game against Florida Atlantic. The Lady Toppers won 86-68. 

Tyler Lashbrook

The Lady Toppers took the top spot in the Sun Belt Conference with a 86-68 win over an FAU team that came into Diddle Arena with a 5-1 conference record.

Three players for WKU (13-3, 6-1 SBC) scored over 20 points for the first time since 2005.

Sophomore forward Chastity Gooch scored a career-high 28 points and grabbed 11 boards and sophomore guard Alexis Govan scored 20 with 10 rebounds.

Junior guard Bianca McGee emerged as the third dynamic scoring threat, finishing with a career-high 23 points.

“One thing coach (Michelle Clark-Heard) told us is that when us three show up to play, it’s hard for a team to defend,” McGee said

And it was hard for FAU (8-7, 5-2) to defend.

The big three for WKU shot 26-of-46 from the field and knocked down 18-of-23 from the free throw line.

The three combined for 71 of the team’s 86 points.

Coach Heard said that as a coaching staff, the decision to insert McGee into the starting lineup has been a crucial one.

“She (McGee) can flat score the basketball and she’s working really hard now to get better defensively and she’s stepping up to the challenge,” Heard said.

The crowd at Diddle Arena was the largest announced for any game this year with 1,719 in attendance.

Before the game started coach Heard went down to shake hands with FAU coach Kellie Lewis-Jay.

Heard said that Lewis-Jay said she was impressed by the size of the crowd at Diddle.

“To hear the opposing coach come in and say that,” Heard said, “that’s a big deal. And that’s what I’m excited about and that’s why I love Diddle Arena.”

The Lady Toppers will play host to Louisiana-Lafayette (7-9, 1-6 SBC) on Wednesday, Jan. 16.

That game will be the second of this three-game home stand.