Lady Tops open season against Sugar Bears


Today marks the beginning of the college basketball season nationwide, and here in Bowling Green is no different. Well, it’s slightly different. While other schools men’s programs are tipping off the year today, it’s the Lady Tops who begin their season today for WKU, as they welcome in the Central Arkansas Sugar Bears to Diddle Arena to not only open regular season play, but the Preseason WNIT as well.

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For the Lady Tops, they’re coming off a 102-55 demolishing of Bellarmine, and outscored the Knights 58-18 in the second half. In the win, all five starters recorded double-figures in points, led by 20 points from Chastity Gooch, but not too far behind was Micah Jones, who netted 17. Alexis Govan made her return to the floor (albeit unofficially since it was an exhibition contest) and put up 12 points and four rebounds in 29 minutes on the floor, which was the second most minutes played by a Lady Topper. It’s a curious point, because during WKU’s media day, head coach Michelle Clark-Heard said she and the coaching staff were going to monitor Govan, and use her sparingly until they felt she was ready to go. Well, I guess that answers that.

For the visiting Sugar Bears (how awesome of a nickname is that?), they’re coming off a season of 18 wins, needing just one more to claim the Southland Conference regular season championship. There was a bit of turnover from then to now, as they lost Southland Conference Player of the Year Courtney Duever and a fifth-year senior starter Micah Rice. With the turnover, the Sugar Bears have gotten really young, and have only one upper-classman on their roster in junior guard Jameka Watkins – who, by the way, isn’t even on the trip due to an injury.

In terms of players that Central Arkansas will have available tonight, sophomore guard Briana Mullins looks to be the one who will lead the way. Mullins averaged 10 points, three and a half rebounds and just over two assists per game last year, and was named the 2014 conference Freshman of the Year. Mullins was also one of only two players – the other being fellow sophomore guard Maggie Proffitt – to average more than 25 minutes per game last year.

On paper, not only do the Lady Tops seem to have talent on their side, they have experience. In the projected line up, MCH is touting two seniors, a junior and a redshirt-sophomore. Speaking of, here is the projected lineup:

Micah Jones – G
Tashia Brown – G
Kendall Noble – G
Alexis Govan – G/F
Chastity Gooch – F

Again, still curious as to why Brown is getting the start at guard, especially when you have a more-experienced (by a year) Kierra Muhammad you could use, or put in another forward like Jaylin McClain. However, MCH is a two-time 20 game winner and I am not, so I guess I shouldn’t double-guess her lineups.

Tipoff is set for seven tonight, so be sure you head on over to Diddle, especially as the air gets nippier and nippier.

Next: MCH Previews the Lady Tops 2014/15 Campaign