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Lady Toppers fall to MTSU

Eli Randolph
Guard Teresa Faustino (14) drive the lane during WKU’s game against La Tech on Wednesday, Feb.7. WKU won 64-56.

The conference Goliath was too much for David. 

WKU hosted rival Middle Tennessee State in Diddle Arena Saturday, where the Lady Toppers fell 59-41. 

“The goal this week was to get the turnovers down,” Head Coach Greg Collins said. “We’ve just been turning the ball over way too much and we did a better job in that area.  We did a better job in rebounding against a really good rebounding team, but the bottom line is it’s hard to win with 41 points and so we have to make some shots.” 

In an identical showing from their matchup in early February, WKU failed to play four full quarters of offense.  MTSU senior guard Savannah Wheeler  scored 18 points on 6-16 shooting for the game. WKU’s defense held the Lady Raiders to 28.6% shooting from three, but the streak of 20 or more forced turnovers ended with the team only forcing 13. 

The loss drops WKU to 15-12 (6-6 CUSA) and stretches their losing streak to three games, tying the team’s season high. 

The Lady Toppers were led by senior guard Aaliyah Pitts, who recorded a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.  Senior guard Teresa Faustino added 10 points and four assists.  Junior guard Alexis Mead did not enter double-digit scoring numbers, but she grabbed seven rebounds and dished out six assists.   

The first quarter started disastrously for the Lady Toppers.  They scored four points and shot 2-19 from the field and 0-10 from the three-point line.  Despite out-rebounding the Lady Raiders in the quarter, MTSU still controlled the game and tempo. 

The second quarter showed defensive and offensive adjustments.  Pitts scored five points in the quarter.  WKU shot 50% from the field and hit their first three-point shot, putting the team at 1-13 for the half.  The Lady Toppers began to find a rhythm against the conference’s top offense, out-rebounding them 22-18 and forcing seven turnovers.  The third saw the team shoot 3-15 from the field and stretch their three-point shooting drought to 1-16 for the game.   

The fourth quarter saw WKU shoot 5-16 from the field. Pitts led the way with seven points in the quarter, while Faustino added six points. 

The Lady Toppers will look to end their losing streak when they head to Ruston, Louisiana to play LA Tech on Wednesday, Feb 28

The game can be watched on ESPN + 

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