Lady Tops defeat Charlotte 71-60

Western Kentucky coach Greg Collins talks to his players during free throws during WKU’s 71-60 win over Charlotte on Thursday at E.A. Diddle Arena.

Western Kentucky women’s basketball coach Greg Collins announced his team’s nonconference schedule Wednesday that includes six total games, four of which will be played at E.A. Diddle Arena.

The Lady Toppers will tip off the season at Tennessee on Nov. 28 in Knoxville, Tenn. The two programs have squared off eight times in program history, with the last matchup coming in 1998 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Four of the games played between WKU and Tennessee have come in the NCAA Tournament, including the Lady Toppers’ win in the 1992 Mideast Regional in West Lafayette, Ind., that sparked a run to the NCAA championship game for WKU.

WKU’s home opener will come against Bellarmine on Dec. 2. The Lady Toppers will enter the season with a 15-game home winning streak after going 13-0 in E.A. Diddle Arena last season. WKU was one of only 10 NCAA Division I teams to do so in 2019-20 and it was only the fourth time in modern Lady Topper basketball history.

The Lady Toppers last played Bellarmine in the 2018-19 season when WKU got a 95-57 win in Diddle Arena. WKU leads the all-time series 8-2.

The Lady Toppers will also host Ball State on Dec. 5, Mercer on Dec. 18 and Samford on Dec. 21, and will travel to Little Rock on Dec. 13.

WKU and Ball State have enjoyed several close games in the series history, including last season’s overtime thriller in Muncie when Dee Givens’ 41-point performance led the Lady Toppers to a 91-86 win. Three of the last four matchups between the teams have ended in a single-digit score differential. WKU has a chance to even up the series, which Ball State currently leads 5-4. Ball State ended last season with a No. 76 RPI ranking.

The Lady Toppers took on Mercer last season in Macon, Ga., earning a 75-62 victory in only the second game of the 2019-20 season. It will be only the third time WKU has played Mercer, with the first meeting coming in the 2017-18 season.

Little Rock and WKU have a storied history with 31 total meetings. The Lady Toppers own a 24-7 record in the series and have won back-to-back games against the Trojans.

WKU also faced Samford just a season ago on the road. The Lady Toppers squeaked out an 88-84 win in Birmingham, Ala., to take a 2-0 lead in the series history with the Bulldogs.

Game times and streaming/television information will be released at a later time.{&end}

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