WKU Women’s Basketball defeats FIU

Junior+guard+Hope+Sivori+%281%29+throws+up+an+uncontested+bank+shot+after+a+rebound+during+the+matchup+with+UAB+in+E.A.+Diddle+Arena+on+Wednesday%2C+Jan.+11%2C+2023.+WKU+won+75-71.

Tucker Covey

Junior guard Hope Sivori (1) throws up an uncontested bank shot after a rebound during the matchup with UAB in E.A. Diddle Arena on Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. WKU won 75-71.

Jake McMahon

WKU Women’s Basketball (10-9, CUSA 7-3) defeated the FIU Panthers (10-9, CUSA 5-5) 67-63 Thursday Jan. 26 at E.A. Diddle Arena.

Junior guard Hope Sivori gave the Lady Toppers huge bench minutes against FIU. Sivori had 18 points and shot an impressive 3-7 from three.

“It’s just rewarding because me and coach Ivy shoot everyday before practice,” Sivori said. “ It’s just rewarding to see it pay-off.”

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Sophomore forward Jaylin Foster also had a great outing. She tallied 11 points, four rebounds and two assists.

WKU’s bench was a huge key to the victory. The non-starters had 38 of WKU’s 67 points. They were also key on the defensive side of the ball tallying eight steals between the six Lady Toppers.

“They’ve [second unit] come through several times,” head coach Greg Collins said. “There have been several times where they’ve outscored the starters.”

Both teams stayed close to start the game. An early 5-0 Lady Topper run was quickly answered by FIU with a 6-0 run of their own. WKU and FIU continued to stay close throughout the first period of play. A buzzer beating bucket from sophomore guard Alexis Mead cut the Panther lead down to one, 12-11. 

WKU found their stride on offense to start the second period of play. Fueled by eight points from junior guard Hope Sivori, the Lady Toppers went on a four minute, 17-4 run to make it 28-18. FIU was able to go on a late 10-2 run in the half, however it was WKU who took a 35-28 lead into the locker room. 

FIU continued to cut down the WKU lead to begin the second half. A 12-9 Panther run to start the third quarter reduced the Lady Topper lead to four, 44-40. FIU was able to take a late three-point lead, but three Sivori free throws with a second left in the quarter tied it up, 49-49. 

FIU was able to carry their momentum into the fourth quarter. A 10-5 Panther run put FIU up 59-54 with five minutes left to play. However WKU would not back down. A three from junior guard Teresa Faustino capped off a 9-2 Lady Topper run and tied it up at 63 with a minute left in the game. 

WKU continued to dominate late in the game. The Lady Toppers finished off the game on a 7-0 run and took down the Panthers 67-63.

The Lady Toppers will look to make it two straight home victories against FAU Saturday Jan. 28 at E.A. Diddle Arena.  

Sports reporter Jake McMahon can be reached at [email protected]