Lady Toppers with chance at payback Wednesday vs. FAU

Brad Stephens

Head Coach Mary Taylor Cowles doesn’t see a game like Wednesday’s as a chance for payback.

At 7 p.m. in Diddle Arena her WKU squad will play host to Florida Atlantic, a team which dealt the Lady Toppers a 60-58 defeat back on Jan. 25.

On that night in Boca Raton, Fla., WKU climbed back from an 11-point halftime deficit and had a chance to take the lead late but saw three shots fall short in the final 20 seconds.

Finally Owls forward April Goins hit two game-winning free throws with six seconds left.

Cowles said she didn’t view Wednesday night as a chance to get even, saying she’ll “try to stick to the X’s and O’s.”

But in the eyes of freshman guard Alexis Govan, the Lady Toppers are out to get the teams that beat them during a recent five-game losing streak.

FAU is one of those teams.

“It’s a big chance for payback,” Govan said. “The games that we’ve lost in conference have been by less than double digits mainly, so it’s payback. We’ve just got to get them back for what they did either in our house or their house.”

Sophomore guard Chaney Means said the key to getting a different result this time against FAU will be in handling the Owls’ front court.

In the first matchup, Goins and forward Chenise Miller combined for 29 points, 13 rebounds and 4 assists.

“We have great post players, and I think they’re up to that challenge,” Means said. “FAU has great post players too, so I think it’ll be a battle.

“I think rebounding and getting our post touches and actual defense on their post and penetration and all that — I think that’s going to be really important for us.”

Miller and Goins are the Owls’ two leading scorers, averaging 10.6 and 8.2 points per game, respectively.

They’ll likely be matched up with WKU’s big gun, senior forward LaTeira Owens (11.7 ppg, 7.8 rpg).

A win on Wednesday would be the second straight for WKU, which beat Troy 59-36 on Saturday.

That win came after a 67-64 loss on the road to heavily favored Middle Tennessee State.

“I really like the confidence and poise we played with last weekend in both games on the road,” Cowles said.

After hosting FAU on Wednesday, the Lady Toppers will go back on the road on Saturday to South Alabama.

WKU will then come back to Diddle to host Arkansas State before its regular season finale rematch with MTSU.

It was around this time in 2011 that the Lady Toppers began to hit their stride, winning five out of seven games before losing 66-59 to Arkansas-Little Rock in the Sun Belt Conference championship game.

Means said this year’s WKU squad may be primed for a similar late season run.

“It takes awhile to mesh and to learn how to play with each other and figure out what everybody’s strengths and weaknesses are,” Means said. “We feel like we’re starting to get a hang of it.”