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Senior Raneem Elgedawy being guarded by graduate Kennedi Colclough during her season debut on Jan. 14, 2021 against Marshall. The Lady Toppers fell 81-54 while Elgedawy had a double-double in her debut. 

The Lady Toppers (2-7), (1-2, C-USA) opened their weekend series with an 81-54 loss against Marshall (3-4), (2-3, C-USA). This is the first time that Marshall has taken down WKU in the regular season. On March 10, 2016, The Herd took down WKU 66-63 in the postseason. 

“We didn’t guard and I’m not sure why. We didn’t get out and do our job,” WKU head coach Greg Collins said. “We just got bit by the turnover bug again. We just kept making bad passes and not really executing it offensively. The ball wasn’t where it needed to be.”

Senior Raneem Elgedawy made her return to the team tonight where she managed to score 17 points and had 10 rebounds, followed by senior Fatou Pouye who had 14 points and 10 rebounds. Both players rounded out the night with double-doubles.

“She’s really confident,” Collins said. “There’s too many times that her numbers and toes are facing that ball and we don’t get that ball to her. For the most part, she makes pretty good decisions with the ball.”

Junior Meral Abdelgawad had a surprisingly quiet night as she did not score at all within her 30 minutes on the court. The last time Abdelgawad was held scoreless was Jan. 16, 2020, at Old Dominion. 

Marshall was 49.2% from the field, which was ahead of WKU, who were 39% from the field. WKU was 21-54 from the field, whereas Marshall was 32-65.

“It’s poise and their heads up and they see the floor and they take care of the ball,” Collins said about Marshall’s performance. “They move the ball and they get good shots.”

Marshall opened the first frame of the game going on a 10-0 run. The run was ended when freshman Hope Sivori scored two points. Senior Raneem Elgedawy made her season debut at the 5:22 mark of the opening quarter when she was subbed in for freshman Ally Collett. 

Elgedawy’s presence on the court helped the team as they forced points on the board to make it a six point game at the end of the quarter. With 1:53 left in the first quarter the Alexandria, Egypt, native scored her first basket of the game. 

The Lady Toppers ended the first quarter by going on a 9-4 run to lessen the point deficit. Redshirt sophomore Myriah Haywood had six points at the end of the first quarter leading WKU scorers. At the end of the first quarter, WKU trailed 20-14.

To open the second quarter, the Lady Toppers struggled as Marshall managed to pull ahead and make it a 10-point game. At 7:29, Collins called a timeout as WKU committed their fifth turnover, which Marshall converted into easy points.

At the 4:40 mark, Collet potted a three pointer to make it a seven-point game. WKU was struggling to find the basket, and the Lady Toppers’ turnovers led to Marshall scoring eight points.

WKU was unable to score in the last few minutes of the quarter and were additionally unable to retain possession as they increased their turnovers to nine. However, before the quarter ended, Sivori managed to put two points on the board to end WKU’s scoring drought. The score at the half was 36-29.

In the first half of play, WKU was 13-30 from the field, which was 43% from the field, whereas Marshall 14-31 from the field, or 45%. WKU had nine turnovers at the end of the first half of the play compared to Marshall’s four.

WKU was more dominant in rebounding in the first half as they had 21 rebounds, which was six more than Marshall, who had 15.

The third quarter started off with Pouye putting two points on the board. Marshall returned fire going on a 12-2 run until Elgedawy hit a three pointer to bring the point deficit down to 12 points at the 6:31 mark.

By the 3:49 mark of the quarter, WKU had committed turnover No. 13 of the game. Four of those 13 were committed in the last three minutes of play. By the 1:40 mark, WKU trailed by 15 points and were unable to score for almost the last three minutes.

Sophomore Alexis Johnson hit a shot at the buzzer for The Herd to make it a 17-point game. WKU trailed 57-40 at the end of the quarter and had six turnovers in the third frame of play and 15 overall. 

The final frame of play started off with a turnover by Johnson to give WKU the ball, but then the rock was stolen back and converted into a layup for Marshall as The Herd led by 19 at the 9:23 mark.

By the 7:26 mark, Pouye managed to put two on the board and draw the foul to go to the line. Pouye would make the and-one. Collett followed up by putting another two points on the board to cut the deficit to 61-45. 

At the 3:46 mark of the quarter, Marshall extended their lead to 23 points, 72-49, as WKU continued to fumble with only nine points with less than four minutes remaining in the final quarter.

The Lady Toppers ended the final frame being outscored 24-14 while having four turnovers.

WKU will head home to close out their series with The Herd on Sunday at 2 p.m. in Diddle Arena. 

Women’s basketball beat reporter Drew Toennies at drew.toennies900@topper.wku.edu. Follow him on Twitter @drew_toennies.

Drew Toennies is a junior from Nashville, TN. He is a journalism major with a minor in political science.