WKU loses second straight home game

Lawrenceville, Ga. junior guard Chaney Means, #2, runs past Vanderbilt junior guard Kady Schrann during the second half of the WKU vs Vanderbilt women’s basketball game on December 4, 2012.

Elliott Pratt

WKU dropped its second game of the season and second straight in Diddle Arena Tuesday night, falling 77-67 to Vanderbilt.

A 63 percent field goal shooting performance led the Commodores to their seventh straight win over the Lady Toppers.

Chastity Gooch’s double-double streak came to an end as she fouled out of the game with 30 seconds remaining, leading the team with 15 points, but grabbing six rebounds.

Coach Michelle Clark-Heard said playing a team of high caliber like Vanderbilt will serve her team well in the future.

“My team got better today,” Heard said. “I’m so proud of this young team but I told them we still have to grow up and make adjustments on the things we need to do.

“(Vanderbilt)’s a good ball team, and you’re going to see when they go into SEC play and they start beating some people I think you’re going to see how good they are.”

A three-point shot from Chaney Means put the Lady Toppers up 5-3 early in the first half before the Commodores pieced together a 6-0 run to take the lead for most of the half.

With 6:13 left to play, Alexis Govan dropped in a layup in heavy traffic to tie the score back up and brought the crowd alive in Diddle Arena.

Illeana Johnson’s jumper with 17 seconds to play in the half put the Lady Toppers up 35-34 at the break. Vanderbilt led in all but one stat category at the halftime.

The Lady Toppers once again led the turnover battle by forcing 12 Commodore turnovers in the first have against only five of their own.

The Commodores orchestrated a nearly perfect start to the second half by hitting their first 11 shot attempts, including 4-of-4 from three-point land, to lead 61-50 with 12:34 to play.

Alexis Govan said the team was taken aback by Vanderbilt’s offensive clinic to start the second half.

“Coach told us at halftime they were going to come out hard,” Govan said. “We expected them to come out with a force, but with them hitting all those shots, it took us a minute to get back to where we were in the first half.”

Said Heard, “I challenged them in the huddle when we went down by 13 that we need to get three stops in a row so we could get this game back.”

The Lady Toppers responded to their coach by not allowing a single field goal for six minutes late in the second half.

But missed opportunities hurt WKU as the Lady Toppers shot only 34 percent from the field in the second half.

The Commodores picked up where they left off at the 2:34 mark to hold on to a 10-point win, giving the Lady Toppers their second loss on the year.

WKU will get right back on the road Thursday night for another nonconference match up against Morehead State at 6 CT.