Cloudy skies early, followed by partial clearing. Slight chance of a rain shower. High 67F. Winds WSW at 10 to 15 mph..
Partly cloudy skies during the evening will give way to cloudy skies overnight. Low 42F. Winds light and variable.
Updated: January 17, 2023 @ 12:05 am
Western Kentucky’s women’s basketball team defeated Florida Atlantic, 76-66, as the Lady Toppers claimed their fourth straight win on Monday night in Boca Raton, Fla.
“We’re getting better as a team,” WKU coach Greg Collins said in a news release. “We’re playing better team defense, it’s not always four quarters, but we’re able to turn people over. Our shot selection is a little bit better, but our shooting percentages aren’t quite where they need to be. Our shot selection still has to improve.
“We took fewer of those contested, off-balance layups. We’re playing better, together. This really is the key for this team – to use our advantages and our strengths to be able to play and compete.”
Teresa Faustino led WKU (8-8 overall, 5-2 Conference USA) in scoring with a career high 17 points on 6-of-9 shooting from the floor and 3-of-5 from beyond the 3-point arc along with a season high five steals. Alexis Mead added 16 points, five steals and rebounds. Jaylin Foster had 12 points, three rebounds, two steals and two assists and Acacia Hayes finished with 11 points and a team high four assists.
Hayes was named Conference USA Freshman of the Week earlier Monday. It is her first weekly award of her collegiate career.
Hayes poured in 14 points in a 75-71 win against UAB on Wednesday and followed up with an 11-point performance in another 75-71 win at FIU on Saturday. The freshman was a perfect 7-of-7 from the free throw line against the Panthers.
The Murfreesboro, Tenn., native is went into Monday’s game as WKU’s leading scorer, putting up 10.9 points per game.
The Lady Toppers shot 54.7% (29-53) from the field and 47.4% (9.19) from 3-point range against the Owls. Both marks were season highs for the Lady Toppers. It was the second consecutive game WKU had four players in double digits and the sixth time total this season.
WKU and Florida Atlantic (10-6, 3-4 C-USA) went back and forth to open the game, but the Lady Toppers ended the first quarter on a 10-0 run to take a 24-11 lead into the second quarter. WKU outscored the Owls 15-11 in the second quarter to go ahead 39-22 at halftime.
The Lady Toppers were ahead 45-26 when Florida Atlantic started a 17-0 run that cut the score to 45-43. During that run, the Lady Toppers turned the ball over seven times. WKU outscored the Owls 31-23 through the remainder of the game, including eight straight free throws the end the game.
WKU forced Florida Atlantic into 23 turnovers, marking the ninth time this season the Lady Toppers have forced their opponents into 20-plus miscues.
The victory was Collins’ 75th win as head coach at WKU. Collins is 25-11 as head coach in the month of January.
The Lady Toppers will return to Bowling Green to host Louisiana Tech on Thursday at 6:30 p.m.
Bowling Green Daily News Sports Editor
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