The Lady Toppers had been leaning on their defense to support their sporadic offense, but their D abandoned them in the first half Sunday at Denver.
The Pioneers shot 59 percent before the break, earning a 69-62 win over WKU at Magness Arena. The Lady Toppers fell to 5-12 overall and 3-3 in Sun Belt play.
WKU senior forward LaTeira Owens led with 18 points and 11 rebounds, but Denver had five players in double figures scoring.
The Lady Toppers outrebounded Denver 42-28. Senior forward Keshia Mosley added nine points and seven rebounds in 14 minutes off the bench.
WKU returns to action Tuesday, when it hosts Tennessee Tech at E.A. Diddle Arena.
BGDN men’s basketball beat writer Chad Bishop was in Denver to cover WKU’s Sunday doubleheader, and he passed along some quotes from Owens and coach Mary Taylor Cowles. Here are their thoughts:
“I think the first half was the difference. We wasn’t going with our gameplan and not doing what the coaches wanted us to do. It’s kind of not taking pride in our defense in the first half, and I think that’s the difference in the game.”
On the second-half improvement:
“We just went with coach’s gameplan and said we’re just gonna buy in and take care of defense – switch screens, block out, help to side defense.”
Mary Taylor Cowles
“The first 20 minutes we were extremely out of whack defensively and I thought that’s what killed us. I know we got down a little bit deeper in the second and made a great run, but I just felt like we got so off sync in the first half off of things that we have spent the last two days in film session and practice time working on. That’s really disappointing. It wasn’t just our guards, it wasn’t just our post, it was a combination of our entire team.”
“We did some good things offensively. I thought we didn’t shoot a great percentage, 38 percent, but I thought we executed some things well. I thought we went to the boards extremely well. We took care of the basketball tonight, which allowed us to have an opportunity to execute our offense. Yeah, coach (Tim) Riley’s been telling me all year that our defense is pretty good, and then tonight it shows up – that has to be something that we can depend on because our offense has been up and down. Tonight, we did not play good defensively at all.”