Western Kentucky’s women’s basketball team dropped a 63-47 decision to UT Martin in the final game of the Preseason WNIT on Monday in Manhattan, Kan.

The Lady Toppers were plagued with slow starts in each of the first three quarters of the game, giving up 5-0, 6-0 and 10-0 runs in the beginning of the first, second and third quarters.

Meral Abdelgawad led WKU with 12 points and 19 rebounds for her sixth career double-double. As of Monday night, the senior’s 19 boards are the most by a Conference USA player this season. Mya Meredith joined Abdelgawad in double figures with 12 points of her own along with four rebounds.

WKU won the battle on the glass, pulling down 44 boards compared to UT Martin’s 32.

UT Martin scored the first five points of the game. Alexis Mead put WKU on the board first with a floater in the lane. From there, the Skyhawks went on 8-0 run to close out the quarter.

The Skyhawks scored six straight points to open the second quarter, but the two teams traded baskets for the next six minutes. The Lady Toppers closed the half on a 7-0 run to cut the lead to 14.

After a 10-0 run from UT Martin to start the third quarter, WKU used a 3-point possession on a Hope Sivori free throw and a Abdelgawad putback on the missed second free throw to stop the run. That play sparked the WKU offense. The Lady Toppers outscored the Skyhawks 13-3 in the remainder of the period.

Abdelgawad scored the first points of the fourth quarter to cut the UT Martin lead to 12, but the Lady Toppers gave five straight points to the Skyhawks in the next three minutes. Macey Blevins hit back-to-back 3-pointers and Tori Hunter and Meredith each scored two in the quarter, but UT Martin kept WKU at bay with nine points of its own.

WKU returns to Bowling Green for a three-game homestand starting Sunday with Kentucky State at 2 p.m. The Lady Toppers will then host Indiana State (Nov. 24) and Tennessee State (Nov. 28).