Lady Toppers Win Second Straight with 83-65 Victory Against Indiana State

Published: Nov. 24, 2021 at 8:30 PM CST
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - The WKU women’s basketball team surged to an 83-65 win against Indiana State on Wednesday afternoon in E.A. Diddle Arena, completing a comeback after falling behind at the end of the first half.

WKU had two 20-point scorers for the first time this season. Freshman Alexis Mead led all scorers with a career-high 25 points and Meral Abdelgawad added a season-high 21 points. It was Abdelgawad’s second 20-point performance of the season and the fifth of her career.

“I just felt good out there,” said Mead on scoring 25. “I didn’t have a good first half, so I wanted to come out in the second half and lead the team better – not just in points but in energy. Our energy wasn’t good in the first half. I didn’t really care too much about how much I was scoring, it was more about getting my team to be in it with me. Getting everyone on the same page and getting everyone on that same energy for us to be positive and fight hard.”

Macey Blevins joined Mead and Abdelgawad in double figures with 11 points, including eight in the second half. Mya Meredith filled out the stat sheet with seven points, five assists, three rebounds, a steal and a block. Hope Sivori added five points, three assists, three steals and two rebounds.

The Lady Toppers connected on 13 3-pointers which is tied for the third-most in a single game in WKU history. WKU also secured back-to-back games with 20-or-more assists with 20 on the night after notching 28 against Kentucky State. For the fourth time this season, WKU forced its opponent into 20-plus turnovers with 21.

“They made me take like 400 threes the day after (the Kentucky State game) so that’s why I made threes today,” said Abdelgawad on shooting 4-of-6 from three.

Indiana State scored the first points of the game, but Mead put WKU on the board first with a corner three. Mead forced a steal on the Sycamores’ next possession and Meral Abdelgawad made it back-to-back threes for the Lady Toppers to start the game. WKU had a pair of 7-0 runs in the first quarter, the second run spanning only 36 seconds.

The two teams traded baskets through the beginning of the second quarter, but the Sycamores outscored WKU 16-5 in the final five minutes of the period and ended the half on a 7-0 run to take their first lead of the game.

“(My message at halftime) was really complicated: Be strong with the ball,” said head coach Greg Collins. “That was it. We always talk about getting two eyes on the ball, two hands on the ball and get two feet on the ground. We made sure we weren’t trying to make the play before we had possession. You can’t run any plays or do anything else if you don’t have possession. We didn’t change anything. We did the same things we did in the first half. The difference was where we were turning the ball we started catching the pass and being strong with the ball.”

After 14 first-half turnovers, Collins’ halftime message took effect. The Lady Toppers had only one turnover in the third quarter and only three in the fourth quarter.

The Sycamores scored first in the third quarter, but WKU followed with a 7-0 run to regain the lead. The final points of that 7-0 run were scored by Mead which were the first of 13 the freshman would score in the frame. Indiana State retook the lead and then the game was tied twice before a Mead 3-pointer gave WKU the permanent advantage that would stick for the rest of the game with 4:33 left in the quarter. The Lady Toppers closed out the quarter outscoring the Sycamores 15-5.

WKU scored the first six points of the fourth quarter and would go on to outscore Indiana State 21-11 in the final period.

The Lady Toppers will be back in action on Sunday against Tennessee State to close out their homestand. That game is set for a 2 p.m. tip in Diddle Arena.

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