The WKU Lady Toppers first appearance in the NCAA basketball tournament since 2007-08 is made even more remarkable when you considered that it has happened without one of the team’s scoring leaders.
Junior guard Alexis Govan has been sidelined since December 21st with a stress fracture of the leg and likely won’t play until next season. Despite her injury, Govan remains upbeat. She’s been cheering on teammates from the bench and says she's looking forward to the team’s trip to Waco.
“It’s going to be fun. Texas is a great place for Western to play and we’ve had some success there, so everybody knows that we have to be up and be positive. It’s a big game and a big opportunity,” said Govan.
The trip to Texas will be a trip home for Govan, a San Antonio native. WKU head coach Michelle Clark-Heard says the team misses her presence, and her 16 points per game, but the good news is Govan’s injury won’t likely require surgery.
WKU signee Ivy Brown has been named Kentucky's 2014 Miss Basketball, an award given annually to the state's top female high school player.
The naming marks the first winner of the award to sign with the WKU program out of high school since all-time leading scorer Crystal Kelly in 2004. Brown chose WKU over Kentucky, Middle Tennessee and Tennessee Tech.
Brown led LaRue County to a 24-7 record this season, including wins in 10 of the final 11 games of the season and an appearance in the Fifth Region Championship game. She averaged 24.4 points and 12.6 rebounds a game for the Lady hawks as a senior.
The WKU women's basketball team will head to Waco, Texas on Saturday to take on No. 2 seed Baylor in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Saturday's game is at 5:30 p.m. CDT at the Ferrell Center. The game will be broadcast on ESPN2.
The Lady Toppers earned a spot in the tournament with a comeback win in the Sun Belt Conference championship game Saturday against Arkansas State.
It is their 17th appearance in the NCAA tournament, but the first since 2007-08.
Danielle Lawrence scored 13 points and grabbed 10 rebounds as Butler beat Elizabthtown 49-38 in title game Sunday.
Elizabethtown's Erin Boley hit two free throws to pull within one, 39-38, before Butler held the Panthers scoreless for the final 5:27 of the game. Butler, No. 1 in the Associated Press' final regular season poll, scored the final 10 points of the game and held Elizabethtown to 30% shooting to secure the school's fourth state title, its first since 2008.
Allison Just added 10 points for Butler (33-3), while Fontasia Jeffries scored nine and Lawrence had five steals.
The Bearettes hit four 3's during an 11-1 run in the last 3:17 of the first quarter and went on to shoot 43% from beyond the arc for the game.
Boley had 18 points and 10 rebounds for Elizabethtown (32-5).
The Lady Toppers will take part in a selection show watch party beginning at 5 p.m. CDT at Mister B's Pizza and Wings on Scottsville Road in Bowling Green.
For the fourth time this season, the Lady Toppers overcame a double-digit deficit to win a game. On Saturday night in New Orleans, it came in the biggest game so far this season. The WKU women edged Arkansas State 61-60 to win the Sun Belt Conference Tournament.
Chastity Gooch led the Lady Toppers in scoring with 26 points. Her efforts in the tournament earned her MVP honors.
The WKU women's team will learn its first round opponent in the NCAA tournament on Monday night at 6 p.m. during the selection show.
Also in New Orleans Saturday, the WKU men lost in their SBC tournament semifinal game to Louisiana-Lafayette 73-72.