Lady Toppers set their sights on FAU and FIU as they look to stay perfect in C-USA


Marshall C. Canupp

WKU Lady Topper Basketball Head Coach Greg Collins talks with his team at half-court after the 112-72 win against the West Virginia State University Yellow Jackets after their exhibition game at Diddle Arena on Nov. 3, 2021.

Joseph Thompson, Women's Basketball Reporter

WKU Women’s Basketball head coach Greg Collins met with the media Wednesday afternoon to discuss the team’s mid-season success and the Lady Toppers’ upcoming opponents, the Florida Atlantic Owls (11-4, 0-4 C-USA) on Thursday and Florida International Panthers on Saturday (9-4, 1-2 C-USA).

Collins said the Lady Toppers will have to play their best brand of basketball to beat the very experienced FAU team. 

“They’re almost all seniors and juniors,” Collins said. “They have great players. They’re probably the best team that hasn’t won a game in our conference that we’re going to play. They’ve been in close games all year. …They’re experienced. They’re competitive. They keep playing to the very end.”

The Owls beat the Lady Toppers in their last matchup 75-70 on Feb. 6 in Boca Raton, Fla. 

In last year’s matchup, the FAU bench outscored WKU 26-3 and hit 10 free throws in the fourth quarter to the Lady Toppers’ five, essentially being the difference in the game. 

WKU plays the FIU Panthers for the second time this season, Saturday at noon in Diddle Arena. 

The Lady Toppers beat the Panthers on Jan. 8 in Miami, Fla., 63-51. Freshman Mya Meredith and senior Meral Abdelgawad both had 21-point performances, and WKU dominated the Panthers in the paint 30-18 and never trailed in the game. 

Despite beating FIU this season already, Greg Collins doesn’t want his team to overlook the Panthers. 

“While we feel like we can beat anybody, we can also be beaten by anyone,” Collins said. “So we try to give every team the respect that they deserve, because that’s what we’re trying to earn. Will we do some things differently? Probably, but what we do the same is what matters the most.”

The Lady Toppers look to continue their seven-game win streak against the Owls on Thursday at 11 a.m. in Diddle Arena. This is the first time WKU and FAU will face off in the 2021-22 season. The Lady Toppers will host the Panthers on Saturday at noon. 

Women’s Basketball Reporter Joseph Thompson can be reached at [email protected].