The loss dropped WKU to 8-18 overall and 5-9 in the Sun Belt, while South Alabama improved to 16-10 and 9-5 in the league.
South Alabama knocked down seven first-half threes, meaning half its baskets in the opening 20 minutes came from long range. USA jumped out to a quick 9-2 lead, but the Lady Toppers fought back to make it a 12-10 score on a Chaney Means basket at the 12:59 mark. Two Lauren Walker threes and a Ronneka Robertson basket stretched the lead to 20-10 a the 11:30 mark, but WKU was able to cut the deficit to eight midway through the period.
A five-and-a-half minute scoring drought by WKU allowed the Jaguars to open up a 16-point lead when a Cylenthia Kennon jumper made it a 28-12 game with 5:52 go to before intermission. Vanessa Obafemi ended the WKU drought with a three as the Lady Toppers chipped away at the lead and got it to a 10-point game with 30 seconds left when another Obafemi three made it 32-22. However, Sarda Peterson drained USA's seventh three of the half as time expired, sending the Jaguars to the locker room with a 35-22 lead.
WKU scored just one point in the first 9:30 of the second half as South Alabama stretched their lead to 48-23 with a 13-1 run to open the half. Mimi Hill ended the drought for WKU with a basket at the 11:33 mark. That sparked an 8-0 run by the Lady Toppers as they cut it to a 48-31 score after a Means layup at the 10:19 mark. However, USA got back-to-back threes from Camille Reynolds to stretch the lead back to 23 points with 8:42 remaining. USA made it 11 unanswered with two more baskets during the run, and pushed the lead to 59-31 with 7:13 remaining. Ellen Sholtes hit a layup to make it a 59-33 game with 6:20 remaining, but the Lady Toppers would not score the rest of the game as South Alabama scored the last 11 points to push the final margin to 37.
No Lady Toppers scored in double figures. Sholtes led WKU with seven points, while Obafemi added six on a pair of threes. Five Jaguars scored in double digits, led by 14 points from Taylor Ammons.
WKU returns home for its final two regular-season games, beginning on Wednesday when it hosts Arkansas State at 7:30 p.m. (CST) at Diddle Arena.
- WKU -