WKU's hopes of upsetting No. 2 seed Baylor in the NCAA Tournament opener fell short Saturday evening.
Facing the Bears on their home court in Waco, Texas, WKU managed to stay close, trailing by just six at the half. But Baylor, led by Odyssey Sims and Nina Davis, pulled away late in the second half for an 87-74 win. Davis had 32 points in the game; Sims scored 31.
With the loss, WKU's ten-game winning streak and season came to an end, following the team's Sun Belt Conference title.
WKU was led in scoring by Chastity Gooch, who poured in 23. Kendall Noble contributed 21 in the loss and Bianca McGee added 18.
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.
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.
The WKU women’s basketball team has a trip to Puerto Rico, and contests against Louisville and Vanderbilt to look forward to this upcoming season.
The 2013-14 Lady Hilltoppers’ non-conference schedule was released Monday. Following two exhibition games, the regular season starts November 9 at home against Austin Peay. Other highlights include playing at Vanderbilt and home against Murray State in mid-November.
WKU hosts the Louisville Cardinals November 27, and the team travels to San Juan, Puerto Rico the week before Christmas to play in the 2013 Puerto Rico Classic.
The Lady Hilltoppers are coming off a 22-11 season in Michelle Clark-Heard’s first year as head coach of the program. Last year’s record represents the largest single-season win improvement in Sun Belt Conference history.
Western Kentucky University will host East Carolina at E.A. Diddle Arena Thursday night in the first round of the 2013 Women's National Invitational Tournament. It's the 26th postseason bid for the Lady Toppers in the last 30 seasons.
Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. central time.
WKU is one of four Sun Belt Conference teams to reach the NCAA Tournament or WNIT this postseason. They faced six teams on nine occasions during the 2012-13 season that reached one of the two tournaments. The Lady Toppers are 29-27 in postseason play in the school's history, owning a winning record all-time in both the NCAA Tournament and in WNIT play.
East Carolina is 22-9 on the year and finished 11-5 in their Conference USA. The Pirates have four players averaging between 9.6 and 12 points per game this season.
WKU overcame a 13-point deficit as sophomore Alexis Govan scored a game-high 31 points to lead WKU to a 64-61 win over FAU on Wednesday night at the FAU Arena.
WKU (18-6, 11-4) overcame a deficit of eight points or more for the third time in conference play to win this season, trailing 17-4 in the opening minutes after going over five minutes without scoring. With its 18th win in 2012-13, WKU has doubled the number of wins it compiled a year ago.
Govan hit 14-of-25 from the field and grabbed six rebounds in 34 minutes as she reached the 30-point mark for the third time this season, all in Sun Belt Conference play. Govan scored a basket with 2:00 remaining to give WKU a 62-57 lead before FAU answered with 1:30 left on a basket by Breana Turner.
WKU women’s basketball coach Michelle Clark-Heard is making more noise on the recruiting trail. The first-year coach has signed her first commitment for the Class of 2013. Paul Laurence Dunbar High School junior Kierra Muhammad says she’ll play her college ball at WKU.
Western Kentucky University women’s basketball coach Michelle Clark-Heard added a third signee during the spring period with the addition of Perry County Central guard Kendall Noble. Coach Heard says signing Noble was at the top of her to-do list.