Alexis Govan dropped in a season-high 22 points on 9-for-12 shooting to lead WKU, while Chastity Gooch added 12 points off the bench to pace the Lady Toppers. After shooting just 30 percent from the floor in the first half, WKU connecte on 53.1 percent of their second-half shots, outscoring the Blue Raiders 36-32 after intermission.
WKU finished the regular season 8-20 and 5-11 in Sun Belt play, while MTSU won the SBC East with a perfect 16-0 league record and a 24-5 overall mark. Both teams will now head to Hot Springs, Ark., for the 2012 Sun Belt Conference Tournament. The Lady Toppers will face Louisiana-Monroe on Saturday (March 3) in a first-round game, with the winner of that contest meeting Middle Tennessee in a quarterfinal matchup on Sunday. Game times and court assignments will be announced by the league office later this evening.
WKU found itself playing from behind for most of the first half, but did hold a brief one-point lead on back-to-back LaTeira Owens buckets early in the contest. After the Lady Toppers tied the game at 10-10 on a Govan layup at the 14:22 mark, the Blue Raiders scored 15 of the next 17 points to open up at 25-12 lead on an Icelyn Elie layup at the 8:53 mark.
MTSU's lead stayed in double figures the rest of the half, getting as high as 23 points on two occasions late in the period. However, a Gooch jumper and a pair of Govan free throws in the final minute allowed the Lady Toppers to cut the deficit to 45-26 at intermission.
The Lady Toppers scored 10 of the first 12 points out of the locker room quickly cutting their deficit to 11 just three minutes into the half. However, MTSU scored six unanswered to push the advantage to 17, and opened up a 20-point lead when a Lauren March three made it a 62-42 score midway through the half.
WKU made one last charge as a Vanessa Obafemi three started an 11-1 run, cutting the deficit to 65-55 after a Chaney Means jumper at the 7:15 mark. The Blue Raiders answered again, however, holding WKU scoreless for a four-minute stretch and 21 of the next 24 stretch the advantage to 18 in the final minutes before the Lady Toppers cut the final margin to 15.
Ebony Rowe led four Blue Raiders in double figures with 27 points and also collected 10 rebounds. For WKU, Keshia Mosley matched Rowe on the glass with 10 rebounds of her own to go with six points off the bench.
- WKU -