WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Lady Tops survive swing

J. Michael Moore

Two games, two wins.

Another weekend at the office for the Lady Toppers.

Western (16-8, 10-2) took the Arkansas Swing by the heels last weekend, beating Arkansas-Little Rock and Arkansas State in its final two road games of the season.

Little Rock fell Thursday night 77-67.

Freshman guard Tiffany Porter-Talbert led all scorers with 18 points. She exploded for 15 points in the second half, answering as the Trojans cut Westerns’ lead to as little as four.

Four other Lady Toppers finished in double figures.

Western shot 60 percent from the field against the Trojans.

The closeness of the game was a bit of a shocker, given UALR’s winless record in the conference (5-19, 0-11).

“We knew going in that that wasn’t going to be a blow out,” Head Coach Mary Taylor Cowles said. “They’ve improved since the first time we played them.”

Lady Toppers trounce ASU

The Lady Toppers finished the trip Saturday with an 85-73 win over Arkansas State’s Lady Indians (9-15, 4-7).

Junior guard Leslie Logsdon paced Western with 29 points.

Her three at the beginning of the second half sparked a 9-0 Lady Topper run that opened a 48-35 lead.

Western held a 39-35 advantage at the break and needed another strong second half to put the Lady Indians away.

“The biggest key in the Arkansas State game was the way we opened up in the second half,” Cowles said. “We took the ball to open the half and never looked back… I think it’s a compliment on our physical and mental ability.”

Logsdon commented before the game on the toughness of playing in Arkansas State’s Convocation Center, where Western has won only five of 12 games.

She and the rest of the Lady Toppers appeared unrattled by the 1,893 fans and atmosphere.

Porter-Talbert had another big night, finishing with 19 points. Covington also continued her scoring ways, contributing 16 points.

FIU awaits

Florida International, the second place team in the Sun Belt Conference Eastern Division, will visit Diddle Arena at 7 p.m. Thursday night in a match up that could bring the Lady Toppers one step closer to a championship.

It’s one of the biggest rematches of the year.

Western defeated FIU 80-68 on Jan. 30 in Miami and will be looking to repeat the magic.

The Golden Panthers (16-7,7-3) defeated New Orleans Saturday night, but dropped a game to South Alabama last Thursday, putting them one game behind Western in the division.

With a win, the Lady Toppers would hold a two-game advantage over FIU with one conference game to play.