Lady Toppers improve to 2-0 in Sun Belt

Tyler Lashbrook

The Lady Toppers bounced back from their first loss of the season with a 65-57 win over Louisiana-Monroe Thursday.

WKU (4-1, 2-0 Sun Belt Conference) earned its second conference win of the season and first on the road.

The Lady Toppers are undersized but benefited from a scrappy style of play under first-year coach Michelle Clark-Heard.

WKU came out in a 1-2-2 half court trapping defense and stayed with it through the game’s entirety.

That pressing defense gave ULM a handful of problems from the get-go. The Warhawks had a total of 36 turnovers and scored just 26 points in the first half.

WKU’s offensive deficiencies allowed ULM to stay within striking distance the whole game, however.

The Lady Toppers shot just 23-of-69 from the field for a 33.3% clip and gave the ball away 21 times.

With a 61-55 lead and 1:21 left on the clock, junior guard Chaney Means stepped to the free throw line and knocked down two clutch free throws to give WKU an eight-point lead.

She returned to the line with 55 seconds to go and knocked down another pair of free throws, this time giving WKU a 10-point lead which sealed the victory.

A pair of double-doubles helped WKU pull it out Thursday. Freshman forward Jalynn McClain scored 11 points and pulled down 10 rebounds while sophomore forward Chastity Gooch added 14 points and 11 rebounds.

Sophomore guard Alexis Govan had a team-high 19 points.

The Lady Toppers will head to Troy Saturday to take on another Sun Belt foe. WKU will look to improve to 3-0 in the conference against the Trojans at 5:15 p.m.