WKU Women’s Basketball takes down FAU


Tucker Covey

Junior guard Hope Sivori (1) puts up two-pointer during the matchup with FIU in E.A. Diddle Arena on Thursday, Jan. 26, 2023. WKU won 67-63.

Cole McIntire

WKU Women’s Basketball (11-9, 8-3 C-USA) defeated Florida Atlantic University (11-9, 4-7 C-USA) 66-65 on Saturday, Jan. 28 at E.A. Diddle Arena. 

The Lady Toppers have now won seven of their last eight games and have maintained sole possession of second place in Conference USA. Of their last 13 games, 12  have been within 10 points or less. The Lady Toppers have now won nine of those contests. 

The squad shot 27% from three and 30.4% from the field. One of the keys to WKU’s victory was their plus 13 turnover margin. The Lady Toppers forced 28 turnovers and gave up the ball 15 times. 

Junior guard Hope Sivori led the Lady Toppers in scoring for the third straight game. She scored 16, with nine coming from the final seven minutes of play. 

“Confidence. Poise,” head coach Greg Collins said about Sivori’s performance. “I bragged on her at the team meeting. Hope has done two or three very specific things … those changes are resulting in positive plays.”

Sivori was complimented by sophomore guard Mya Meredith who tallied 15 points. The sophomore led the team in steals with four. Meredith went 2-3 from behind the arc in the closing stages of the fourth.

“I didn’t know how much time was on the clock,” Meredith said. “I didn’t know what the score was, I was just locked in and focused on the game.”

The first quarter began with back and forth physical play from both squads.WKU went on a 12-0 run. 

Sophomore forward Jaylin Foster and freshman guard Acacia Hayes led the charge with five points each in the run. Their inside-out style of play was paramount to crafting their early lead. 

At the end of the 12-0 run FAU head coach Jennifer Sullivan called a timeout.

Exiting the timeout, FAU sparked a 13-0 run to close the quarter, making the score 18-15. The Owls were elite in getting to the free throw line in the quarter, shooting 7-8 compared to the Lady Toppers shooting 1-2 from the charity stripe.

The second quarter was an even contest, with both teams putting up 13 points. The Lady Toppers were able to create three steals and grab nine offensive rebounds in the quarter. At the end of the half junior guard Aaliyah Pitts and Meredith led scoring at six points each. 

The third quarter opened with Hayes hitting a three from the wing, tying the score at 31. The Owls responded with a shot from behind the arc by redshirt-senior Janeta Rozentale. The teams traded multiple buckets. WKU outscored FAU 22-18, making the score 50-49 in the Lady Toppers favor.

FAU opened the fourth quarter with a 7-0 run, forcing Collins to call a full timeout. 

“We were down … and I just wasn’t worried,” Sivori said. “I have so much faith in everybody on this team. [Coach Collins] could put any five out there and we are down four with four minutes to go and we’re winning. No doubt about in my mind.”

WKU closed the quarter on a 16-9 run. Majority of the points came from Hope Sivori. She scored nine in the Lady Toppers closing finale. 

In the final moments Meredith went 2-3 from three. The first came with 3:03 left, giving the Lady Toppers a slim 62-61 lead. The game ended with FAU’s junior guard Jada Moore missing a shot in the lane and WKU’s junior guard Teresa Faustino snagging the final board. 

The Lady Toppers will travel to San Antonio, Texas to play University of Texas San Antonio on Thursday, Feb. 7 at 7 p.m. CT.

Sports reporter Cole McIntire can be reached at [email protected].