The Lady Hilltopper basketball team is set to play its fourth game in eight days.
And this time, state bragging rights are on the line.
WKU travels to the Louisville Tuesday to take on the #12 Lady Cardinals at the KFC Yum! Center.
The Lady Toppers bring a 3-1 record into the game, including two wins in the Preseason Women’s National Invitational Tournament. WKU lost the championship game to Mississippi State Sunday.
The game against the Lady Cards is a special one for WKU coach Michelle Clark-Heard, who is a native of Louisville and was an assistant coach at U of L before coming to Bowling Green. Clark-Heard says she’s proud to see so many quality women’s basketball teams in the commonwealth.
“That’s the way we want it to be. Kentucky is known for basketball, and we want it to be known for women’s basketball just as much, across the board.”
The WKU volleyball team captured the Conference USA championship and the football team became bowl eligible this weekend.
WKU volleyball beat Rice 3-2 to win the conference tournament championship on Sunday and now advances to the NCAA tournament. The team will find out when it will play next during the tournament selection show Nov. 30.
The football team powered past UT-San Antonio 45-7 on Saturday at L.T. Smith Stadium. With the win, the Toppers became bowl eligible for a fourth straight season.
Also, the women's basketball team appeared in the finals of the preseason Women's National Invite Tournament, but fell to Mississippi State 88-77 on Sunday afternoon in Starkville, Miss.
Lindsey Wilson College is making history this weekend.
The Adair County school is hosting four first-round national tournament events Saturday, the first time that’s been done in the history of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.
Here’s a rundown of what the day has in store for Blue Raider fans:
Football: LWC vs. Faulkner University (AL), noon at Blue Raider Stadium
Women’s Soccer: LWC vs. Columbia College (MO), 4:30pm at Reuling Stadium
Volleyball: LWC vs. Xavier University (LA), 6:30pm at Biggers Sports Center
Men’s Soccer: LWC vs. Lindenwood University-Belleville (Illinois), 7:30pm at Reuling Stadium
Lindsey Wilson Director of Public Affairs Duane Bonifer says some extremely dedicated fans plan to attend all four events.
“We’ve heard from a lot of Blue Raider fans from throughout the Columbia-Adair County area who have asked if the dining center is going to be open special hours so that they can fit in meals between events,” Bonifer told WKU Public Radio.
Bonifer is also predicting that more than a few pizza deliveries will be made to campus Saturday.
Kentucky’s six high school state football championship games will remain in Bowling Green through 2018.
The Kentucky High School Athletic Association announced Tuesday that it will continue its partnership with WKU and Russell Athletic for at least four more years. KHSAA Commissioner Julian Tackett says while there are larger football stadiums in the Commonwealth, WKU’s L.T. Smith Stadium offers the perfect venue for the games.
“And what we hear from the fans that come, from the coaches who come, to the players who have played here is that the intimacy of a packed or a nearly packed house sometimes trumps some of the bells and whistles that they’ll never see anyway.”
The state football championships moved to Bowling Green in 2009 after 30 years in Louisville. W-K-U Athletic Director Todd Stewart says his school’s coaching staff loves hosting the games because it exposes potential recruits and their families to the campus, stadium, and community.
“Our coaches have always felt that if they can get a recruit here on campus then we have a great chance to get them, because they’ll see everything. And so for us to have six state championship football games here every year, which is obviously bringing 12 high-caliber teams here , exposes our program to them, and vice-versa.”
The 2014 state championship games will be played at WKU December 5-6.
Before kickoff of the November 15, 2014 matchup between Army and WKU Football, WKU President Gary Ransdell delivered the game ball from 13,500 feet above Houchens-Smith Stadium in a tandem jump with the US Army Golden Knights.
President Ransdell jumped in tandem with SFC Chris Acevedo and SFC Noah Watts provided aerial videography.
Thanks to WKU PBS and the U.S. Army for sharing this behind-the-scenes video with us!
WKU defeated the Army Black Knights 52-24 at L.T. Smith Stadium on Saturday, November 15, 2014. Before the game, the Golden Knights parachuted into the stadium; Dr. Gary Ransdell did a tandem jump with one of the Knights into the practice field with the game ball. Leon Allen carried the ball for 345 yards, breaking the single game record for WKU and Conference USA. WKU has one more home football game Saturday, November 22 at 11AM against University of Texas San Antonio.
WKU women’s basketball team is eyeing a return trip to the NCAA tournament. Last spring, the team made its first appearance in “The Big Dance” since 2008.
Head coach Michelle Clark-Heard took questions Tuesday during basketball media day. She says the team will be tested early with a season-opening WNIT appearance and then a trip to Louisville.
“I can’t look into the crystal ball and tell you what our record will be or how many wins we’ll get,” said Clark-Heard. “But, I can tell you one thing and I can promise you. We’re going to play as hard and we’re going to compete and we’re going to have a chance to be in the ballgame the last five minutes. When we do that, I think we’ll have the opportunity to get the girls in the position to have a chance to win.”
In March, the WKU women lost to Baylor 87-74 in the first round of the NCAA tournament
Both WKU basketball teams were beset by key injuries last season.
Men’s basketball coach Ray Harper also met with the media Tuesday. His team opens the season November 15th against Austin Peay.
The WKU basketball season kicked off ceremonially Saturday at Hilltopper Hysteria at Diddle Arena. Fans came to watch the scrimmages, a three-point contest, dunk contest, and performances by the cheerleaders and Topperettes.
Coaches and players each had their chance in the spotlight as they were introduced to the crowd, dancing and posing to songs of the choice. For the first few minutes of the men's scrimmage, coach Ray Harper provided humorous play-by-play. The evening ended with a chance for fans to meet and get autographs from their favorite players.
The women's season opens at home against Bellarmine November 7 at 7 PM and the men's opens at home November 10 against Pikeville.