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Lady Toppers use a strong defensive effort to defeat Jacksonville State

Guard+Teresa+Faustino+drives+the+lane+during+the+matchup+against+Jacksonville+State+in+the+Diddle+Arena+on+Saturday%2C+Feb.+10%2C+2024.+
Ian Pitchford
Guard Teresa Faustino drives the lane during the matchup against Jacksonville State in the Diddle Arena on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024.

WKU women’s basketball hosted Jacksonville State in E.A. Diddle Arena Saturday, knocking out the Gamecocks 54-45 in a physical low-scoring game. 

“I’m proud of how we’ve adjusted,” Head Coach Greg Collins said.  “We’ve had to adjust how we play quite a bit based on health and depth and experience.  And so, I couldn’t be more proud of this group on how they work on executing that gameplan.” 

It was a defensive showcase for WKU, holding the Gamecocks to 45 points while forcing 23 turnovers with 13 of those being steals.  They held the Gamecocks to 26.9% shooting from the field and scored 16 points off turnovers. 

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Sophomore guard Josie Gilvin led the team with a career-high 14 points and four steals. Junior guard Alexis Mead scored 12 points and added five rebounds. 

The first quarter was very physical, with multiple scuffles on the floor.  WKU jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead thanks to Gilvin, who was flying up and down the court.  The score stayed close throughout the quarter, but the Gamecocks never led.  Gilvin had eight of WKU’s 13 points.  The defense also forced seven turnovers.   

The second quarter continued the defensive battle, with JSU adding seven more turnovers to their total.  They shot 16.7% from the field in the quarter, making just two field goals. 

The lockdown defense continued for WKU in the third quarter.  Jacksonville State shot 3-15 from the field and was outscored 19-9 in the quarter.  Mead added five points in the quarter on 100% shooting from the field. 

The fourth quarter took a different turn than the other three.  Despite being up double digits, the Gamecocks used a WKU scoring drought and a 7-0 run to get back as close as four.  However, four late turnovers forced by WKU along with sophomore guard Karris Allen hitting a high-arching dagger three with 1:11 remaining sealed the win for the Lady Toppers.  

The win moves the team to 15-10 (6-4 CUSA) in a great position to make a move on the second seed, thanks also to another FIU loss.  The team will start a two-game road trip, starting in El Paso, Texas against UTEP on Thursday, Feb. 15 at 8:00 p.m. CT. 

“It will be difficult.  Obviously, we’d love a shot at first or even second, but we can’t control that (the other teams).  All we can control is the games in front of us.” Collins said when asked about the remaining schedule and conference seeding for the tournament. “All we’re focused on is UTEP and New Mexico State and that’s all we can worry about.  Our goal is to keep playing the best that we can so that we’re playing our best basketball when we get to the conference tournament. 

 


 

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