Lady Toppers punch ticket to Preseason WNIT Championship game with a 63-54 victory over Albany


So what if it’s a preseason event? The Lady Toppers are going to ANOTHER CHAMPIONSHIP, BABY! WKU made a bit of program history with their defeat over Albany 63-54, as they punched their ticket to Sunday’s Preseason WNIT Championship Game against Mississippi State, the first ever trip to the Preseason WNIT title game for WKU.

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The Lady Toppers started the game fast, but not in the sense that they got out to some ridiculous lead. As a matter of fact, the final score of nine points was the largest lead either team held throughout the night. The game literally started on a fast and quick pace. The first couple of possessions for the Lady Tops were drawn out and methodical, using just about every second of the shot clock. And, when the WKU shot didn’t go in, someone was in the paint to put it back home for points.

The Lady Tops also forced turnovers. A lot of turnovers. 33 turnovers, to be exact. A majority of the turnovers forced in the first half were from great, quick plays by the Lady Toppers defense, and the charge was lead by Kendall Noble, who had herself quite the evening. She finished the night with six steals, four assists, a team high 10 rebounds and a tie in the team high for points (she and Chastity Gooch both finished with 14).

Tashia Brown continued to impress me, and saw her efforts on the court be rewarded better than they have been before this year, as she scored 11 points. She’s the #2 guard, behind Micah Jones in the number one offense, and has a nice short-range jumper, plus can weave her way through the paint. Ironically, it’s in the paint where she struggles, as she gets some of the most unlucky hops of anyone on the floor.

The Lady Toppers, for the most part, succeeded in containing Shereesha Richards, who finished the game with 21 points and eight rebounds. The reason I say that is because the Great Danes had two other scorers reach double figures – Imani Tate (14) and Tiana-Jo Carter (10) – when Richards was the only double-digit scorer in the Albany quarterfinal game against Penn St. The Danes shot themselves in the foot with turnovers, yes (the Lady Toppers scored 34 points off of Albany turnovers), but also at the free throw line, hitting only 12 of 24 freebies. The Danes also failed to hit a three pointer, and Alexis Govan was the only player on the floor to hit one all night.

It was a game the Lady Toppers needed to prepare them for the final on Sunday, as they’ll head to Starkville to take on the Mississippi St. Bulldogs.