Lady Toppers land No. 3 seed in Sun Belt tournament

Cole Claybourn

After the Lady Toppers lost 75-62 to Florida International on Wednesday, their chances for a No. 2 seed and a first-round bye in next weekend’s Sun Belt Tournament became very slim.

But after FIU knocked off Troy on Saturday, any chance for a bye officially evaporated.

FIU clinched the East Division’s No. 2 seed and the first-round bye that comes with it, forcing the Lady Toppers (12-15, 9-6 Sun Belt Conference) to settle for the No. 3 seed and a first-round matchup against North Texas (5-22, 2-12 Sun Belt).

The game will be played at noon next Saturday as a kickoff for entire tournament.

Head Coach Mary Taylor Cowles chose not to focus too much on the seeding scenario, earlier saying that it was going to play itself out. Instead, Cowles said her focus was on Sunday’s regular-season finale against Middle Tennessee.

“We’re preparing for our last regular-season game,” she said. “The tournament is beyond that. Our regular season’s not finished yet. We’re just going to take it one game at a time, and Sunday’s game is first.”

The Lady Toppers were a No. 3 seed in last year’s Sun Belt Tournament and made it to the semifinals before losing to eventual champion MTSU.

WKU and North Texas met just once this season on Jan. 8 at Diddle Arena. The Lady Toppers won that game, 69-64.

Before Saturday’s game against Denver, North Texas was in the middle of an eight-game losing streak. They’ll play once more before the tournament on Tuesday at Arkansas-Little Rock.

The Lady Toppers have won four out of their last six heading in to tomorrow’s game against MTSU.

Even with a win on Sunday, the Lady Toppers would finish the regular season with a losing record for the first time since the 1981-1982 season.