The WKU Lady Hilltoppers will face Old Dominion in the Conference USA semifinals Friday afternoon in Birmingham.
The game begins at 12:30 pm central. The winner goes on to play in the championship game Saturday, with the winner of that contest earning an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
WKU beat Charlotte 70-67 Thursday in the C-USA quarterfinals.
The WKU Lady Hilltoppers enter their first-ever Conference USA basketball tournament this week as the team to beat.
They won the conference regular season crown, and they boast the league’s Player of the Year, Chastity Gooch, as well as Conference USA Coach and Defensive Player of the Year winners.
Still, WKU coach Michelle Clark-Heard says her team knows none of those accolades mean the postseason tournament is going to be a cakewalk.
“This is everyone’s second season. So, no matter what we did in the regular season, it doesn’t matter. Everybody else is fighting for that opportunity to play in the NCAA Tournament. So to win a conference championship is what it’s all about.”
The Lady Hilltoppers play in the C-USA quarterfinals Thursday at 5pm central against the winner of Wednesday’s game between Marshall and Charlotte. The tournament is being held on the campus of Alabama-Birmingham.
The conference tournament winner gets an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Clark-Heard says she’s proud of the team’s regular season performance, which led to a 27-4 record. The C-USA Coach of the Year says being around players like Gooch and C-USA Defensive Player of the Year Kendall Noble has been an incredible experience.
“As a coach, you always hope you have the opportunity to not only coach great players, but be around amazing women. And that’s what they are. They work so hard and they’ve put in so much time.”