The Western Kentucky women's basketball team gave Middle Tennessee too many opportunities Saturday, falling 71-54 in the regular season finale at E.A. Diddle Arena.

The Lady Toppers (20-9, 13-7 Sun Belt Conference) were outrebounded 41-30 by MTSU and surrendered 15 offensive rebounds, which turned into 14 second-chance points.

The loss is WKU's 12th straight to the Lady Raiders, dating back to 2008.

It also means the Lady Tops will have to wait to learn their seed in next week's conference tournament until after today's Arkansas State-Arkansas-Little Rock game at 4:30 p.m.

An ASU victory means the Red Wolves will be the No. 3 seed, and WKU will be in the 4-5 game in the second round.

An UALR win means WKU will get the third seed and play the No. 6 or 11 seed on the opposite side of the bracket from MTSU, Arkansas State and Florida International.

MTSU will be the tournament's top seed.

Junior forward Ebony Rowe paced the Lady Raiders (22-7, 17-3) with 25 points and 14 rebounds, while senior forward Icelyn Elie added 16 points and seven rebounds.

Senior guard Kortni Jones had two points with 7:52 to play, but finished with 18 points as MTSU pulled away in the final minutes.

Sophomore forward Chastity Gooch had 15 points and 10 rebounds for WKU, but she was forced to the bench with 12:28 to play with four fouls. She logged her 23rd double-double of the season, which breaks ShaRae Mansfield's WKU record.

Sophomore guard Alexis Govan added 14 points and 10 rebounds, and freshman guard Micah Jones chipped in 11 points.

The Lady Toppers' first game of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament will be March 9 in the quarterfinals in Hot Springs, Ark.

See Sunday's Daily News for full coverage.

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