Meredith’s winning shot propels Lady Toppers over Charlotte 49ers


Tucker Covey

Freshman guard Acacia Hayes (10) puts up a bank shot during the matchup with Charlotte in E.A. Diddle Arena on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2023. WKU won 75-73.

Cole McIntire

WKU Women’s Basketball (14-10, 11-4 C-USA) defeated University of North Carolina at Charlotte (11-13, 7-8 C-USA) 75-73, on Thursday, Feb. 16 at E.A. Diddle Arena. 

“Wins like this make us want to work more,” sophomore forward Jaylin Foster said. “We’re struggling a lot on the defensive end. So games like this make us go back in the gym.”

The Lady Toppers rebounded from their 94-81 loss to rival, Middle Tennessee State University. 


“We have not had any easy games,” Head Coach Greg Collins said. “We have to embrace that challenge, we gotta want that atmosphere.”

Jaylin Foster led the team in points with 17. She also had seven rebounds and two steals. Junior guard Teresa Faustino led in steals with three. The Portugal native had eight points, shooting 50% from the field. 

The competitors were even in rebounding at 36, but WKU dominated the offensive glass, tallying 17. The red and white defense created 11 steals and forced 23 turnovers. The Lady Toppers were 13-20 from the free throw line, but 4-5 in the fourth. 

“We missed 17 free throws,” Greg Collins said. “I told them to shoot free throws before they come to practice.”

The first quarter was tightly contested. Charlotte held the lead for the majority of the quarter, but a late 9-6 run to close the quarter would give the Lady Toppers a 23-22 lead. Junior guard Hope Sivori scored 5 in the run, hitting a key three to give the Lady Toppers momentum heading into the second.   

In the second quarter the teams battled with physical play. There were 13 personal fouls and two technical fouls called in the quarter alone. 

Charlotte controlled most of the game until WKU closed the quarter with a 5-0 run. Jaylin Foster hit a corner three with 18 seconds left. To close the half, Teresa Faustino snagged her second steal, setting up a Foster fast-break finish. WKU led 40-38. 

“To go in the second half we needed momentum, we needed energy,” Foster said. “I think we need to play hard and have fun with it”.

The Lady Toppers opened the second half on a 9-2 run. Aalyiah Pitts led the charge with four points. WKU went 4-5 from the field. A three from freshman guard Acacia Hayes capped the run. 

Charlotte responded by crafting a 14-7 run to close the quarter. The Niners hit two key threes to propel themselves back into the game. 

During the run the Lady Toppers would commit three turnovers. The score at the end of the third was 58-56. 

In the final quarter the teams would continue to trade baskets. Both teams attempted to create separation, but the opposing side would match every opportunity. 

With less than 1:30 to go and the score 69-68, Alexis Mead had a clutch hesitation-layup to extend the lead to three. The Niners later responded with an and-one basket by fifth year senior Jada McMillian, taking the lead 73-71. 

With 33.7 remaining Mead found sophomore guard Mya Meredith in the paint to tie up the game. To close the game Meredith took the ball into the left side of the paint and hit a circus shot to claim the game with two seconds left. 

“She’s a clutch player,” Collins said. “You want the ball in her hands … she is going to make plays”.

The Lady Toppers will play the second stint of their two game homestand against Rice University on Saturday, Feb. 18 at 1 p.m. CST.

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