Dee Givens had a career night, leading the Western Kentucky women’s basketball team to a 91-86 overtime win at Ball State on Saturday night in Muncie, Ind.

Givens poured in 41 points, breaking the Worthen Arena record that stood for over 25 years.

Givens’ 41 points tied for the second-most scoring in a game by a Lady Topper, matching Natalie Powers when she scored 41 against Middle Tennessee on Feb. 1, 2001. She was just one point shy of the all-time record held by Crystal Kelly who scored 42 against Louisiana-Monroe on Feb. 23, 2008. It was also the third-most points scored by a NCAA Division I women’s basketball player this season.

“It’s special with all the time I’ve put in the gym this year and last year,” Givens said in a news release. “I’m going to enjoy it today and then keep pushing for the next game.”

WKU improved to 7-2 on the season, getting its first win against Ball State since the 2016-17 season and the first road victory against the Cardinals since 2009.

“It wasn’t the prettiest game and it wasn’t our best played game, but sometimes you just have to slug it through in these ugly games to get a win,” WKU coach Greg Collins said in a news release. “I was really proud of them for coming back and being tough.”

Ball State scored first, converting on an and-one opportunity. Sherry Porter evened things up with a corner 3-pointer. Whitney Creech gave WKU a lead on a layup, but the Cardinals responded with a 9-0 run ended by Givens on a contested layup. Givens scored five more points in the quarter to keep the Lady Toppers in it.

The Cardinals reached their largest lead in the second quarter, going ahead by eight. The two teams went back-and-forth, heading to halftime with a 43-38 score with Ball State ahead.

Fatou Pouye scored six straight points to open the second half. A layup by Raneem Elgedawy put WKU ahead for the first time since the 7:17 mark of the first quarter. Ball State tied things up again, but a 3-pointer from Givens pushed the Lady Toppers back ahead. The teams repeated the same sequence in the next two possessions, with the Cardinals scoring a basket and Givens knocking down a 3. WKU had a two-point lead heading into the final quarter.

Ball State came out of the break and knocked down a 3 to take a one-point lead, but Givens had a fast-break layup to put WKU back ahead. The fourth quarter saw four lead changes and three ties, including the tied score at the buzzer sending the game to overtime. Givens had a nice look at the basket at the end of regulation, but the ball rolled out.

After a Cardinal free throw, the Lady Toppers went on a 7-0 run with back-to-back layups from Elgedawy and then a 3-pointer from Givens. WKU got it to a seven-point lead and ultimately won the game by five.

Besides Givens, the Lady Toppers had three others in double-figure scoring. Creech notched 15 points, her 10th straight game in double digits. Creech also had a season-high seven assists. Elgedawy was held scoreless in the first half after getting in early foul trouble, but the reigning Conference USA Player of the Week scored 11 points in the second half. She also had nine rebounds. Pouye had 10 points, eight rebounds and three steals in the game.

The Lady Toppers improved to 7-1 this season when scoring 70 points or more. WKU forced Ball State into 18 turnovers and has pushed opponents into double-digit turnovers in every game this season.

WKU will take a week for finals and return to the court against Samford on Dec. 15 in Birmingham, Ala.{&end}


(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.