WKU will welcome its highest-ranked foe since 2013 into E.A. Diddle Arena on Tuesday evening at 7 p.m. as No. 6/5 Notre Dame makes the trip south to take on the Lady Toppers, just the second time any Fighting Irish athletic team has made the trip to Bowling Green.
In its last time out, WKU finished as the runner-up in the 2017 Hawkeye Challenge last weekend, defeating No. 16 Missouri, 79-76, before falling against the host Hawkeyes in a 104-97 overtime shootout. Ivy Brown and Tashia Brown each earned All-Tournament Team recognition following the event.
Tashia Brown (23 points per game) is one of four Lady Toppers averaging double figures through two games, joined by Ivy Brown (18.5), Dee Givens (18.0) and Sidnee Bopp (11.5). As a team, WKU is averaging 88 points through its first two outings.
Notre Dame earned a 121-65 win over Mount St. Mary’s in its only game of the season to date. Arike Ogunbowale led the way with 21 points, while Nebraska transfer Jessica Shepard and Marina Mabrey each chipped in 18 points apiece. The Fighting Irish have reached five of the last seven Final Fours and have won both the regular season and conference tournament titles in all four of their years as a member of the ACC.
WKU will return to the road following Tuesday night’s matchup, traveling to Bloomington, Ind., to battle the Hoosiers on Friday evening at 6 p.m. (CT).
GAME #3 – RV/NR WKU VS. NO. 6/5 NOTRE DAME
RV/NR WKU (1-1, 0-0 C-USA) vs. No. 6/5 Notre Dame (1-0, 0-0 Atlantic Coast)
November 14, 2017 | 7:00 p.m. (CT)
Bowling Green, Ky. | E.A. Diddle Arena (7,326)
- Tashia Brown was named the C-USA Player of the Week on Nov. 13 after averaging 23 points per game in WKU’s two games at the Hawkeye Challenge. Brown almost single-handedly took over the game late against Missouri, scoring 11 of WKU’s final 14 points to key the upset of the then-No. 16 Tigers.
- Tuesday’s game doubles as the 35th Annual BB&T Classic game for the Lady Toppers. Previously a multi-team invitational prior to becoming a single game in 1992-93, WKU owns a 34-8 all-time record in BB&T Classic games inside E.A. Diddle Arena.
- For the third consecutive year, WKU earned a victory over an AP-ranked opponent by taking down No. 16 Missouri, 79-76, on Nov. 10 in the Hawkeye Challenge. With the victory, WKU secured its first streak of three seasons with at least one ranked victory since 1990-91 through 1992-93, a span that saw the Lady Toppers reach three NCAA Tournaments and make a Final Four appearance.
- Under Michelle Clark-Heard, WKU owns a 3-6 record against AP-ranked opponents with wins over Louisville (2015-16), Indiana (2016-17) and Missouri (2017-18).
- WKU owns C-USA’s top-scoring offense through the first weekend of play, averaging 88 points per game through its first two outings, nearly 10 points more than Rice’s 78.5 points per game. WKU’s 88 points per game ranks 11th in the nation among schools that have already played multiple games and is the top scoring offense among teams in the state of Kentucky.
- WKU has started a true freshman at least one time in each of the last four seasons. Tashia Brown earned five starts in 2014-15, Kayla Smith drew 31 starts in 2015-16, Sarah Price appeared in the starting lineup five times in 2016-17 and Raneem Elgedawy has started WKU’s first two games this season.
- In games immediately following a loss since Michelle Clark-Heard took over in 2012-13, the Lady Toppers are 32-6 and have not suffered consecutive losses in the same season since Nov. 23 and 25, 2014 (at Mississippi State and Louisville).
- Michelle Clark-Heard’s 130 wins over her first five seasons with the program are the most in that category of any coach in school history, surpassing the legendary Paul Sanderford’s mark of 127 from 1982-83 through 1986-87.
- Already 19st in program history with 1,377 career points, Tashia Brown is looking to move even further up the charts during her senior season. To move into the top 10 in school history, Brown would need to score 386 more points during her final season on The Hill.
- The breakout star of the 2017 C-USA Tournament, junior Sidnee Bopp has continued her momentum into the 2017-18 season, knocking down six three-pointers across WKU’s first two games of the season. Dating back to the final five games of 2016-17, Bopp has connected on 27 three-pointers over her last seven games, just shy of four makes from beyond the arc per contest.
- Notre Dame’s trip to Bowling Green is just the second time that WKU has hosted the Fighting Irish in any sport. In 1926, WKU’s baseball team, at the time coached by the legendary E.A. Diddle, hosted Notre Dame and fell in a close 6-2 battle.
Listen: 102.7 FM and 1450AM in Bowling Green (Jevin Redman, pxp; John Butler, analysis)
Watch: Fox College Sports, WKU PBS (Jeff Younglove, pxp; Paul Sanderford, analysis)
Live Stats: WKUSports.com
How to Follow the Lady Toppers: For complete information on WKU Lady Topper Basketball, visit WKUSports.com or follow the program via social media @LadyTopperHoops on Twitter, @LadyTopperHoops on Instagram and on Facebook at facebook.com/WKUWomensBasketball.
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