The Lady Tops return to the court, after making a stop at Duck Commander of course, to take on the Lady Warhawks of ULM to begin a quick two game Pelican State swing.
Michelle Clark-Heard’s squad is coming off a disappointing 3-point loss to Arkansas State on the Diddle hardwood this past Saturday, a game that wasn’t all bad, and saw Chastity Gooch put up 19 points and Kendal Noble grab 7 boards. The loss gave the Lady Tops their 2nd conference loss on the young season (5th overall).
The Warhawks come into the match-up in 5th place in the Sun Belt (3-2, 7-10), but have been playing better basketball since conference play began, as they saw a 3 game winning streak end this past weekend to the hand of the South Alabama Jaguars. (Unnecessary but fun fact – during the 3-gamer, ULM only trailed for 10 seconds of the 120 minutes played.) While in the midst of their winning streak (and at the end of it last weekend), ULM was lead in scoring from the seemingly most unlikely of places: 6-1 Sophomore center Alayshia Hunter, who has lead ULM in scoring in each of their last two games, notching a career high 18 against the Jags, and hitting a double-double with 15 points AND boards in the previous game against Troy. ULM leads the conference in assists per game, and is second in rebounds per game, but are middle of the pack to last in everything else.
ULM and WKU do share one statistic in common – they each have 3 players who average double figures in scoring on the season. For the Warhawks, they are lead by Ashleigh Simmons (15.0 ppg), followed by senior guards Alexar Tugler (10.8) and Jasmine Shaw (10.2).
The Lady Toppers, as most of us should know by now, are lead by Ms. Gooch (17.1 ppg), followed closely behind Alexis Govan (16.5) and Bianca McGee (12.0). Micah Jones deserves credit though, as she is just .2 ppg away from making the list. Looking at first glance at the scoring figures, one might think this’ll be another one to go down to the wire, but don’t forget – the Lady Tops have missed Alexis Govan for 5 games (the last game she played in was the upset over Georgetown in Puerto Rico), and it doesn’t look too likely that she’ll be playing tonight. Also, WKU has a strong bench, with a roster that has virtually anyone who can put up 10+.
BUT, for the Warhawks, Alayshia Hunter is getting hot, and ULM will hope she stays that way. Also, guard play is in the advantage of ULM, with 2 senior guards who average over 10 points and are key contributors as to why the Warhawks are leading the conference in assists. The Ladies will have to find a way to stop their productivity on the defensive end, and outrebound the 2nd best rebounding team in the conference to keep opportunities for Monroe limited.
The Lady Tops are, once again, coming off a disappointing loss at home, so they’ll look to take their show on the road to get back into the swing of things. I’ll look for Gooch, McGee, Noble, Jones and Chaney Means to start tonight, and hopefully, with any luck, Govan can come in and play some minutes.
Tip off is set for 7:00 p.m., and we will (of course) have all the post game for ya right here.
Until then, Stand up and cheers.