Lady Tops fall 61-50 to UALR — postgame comments

The Lady Toppers led Arkansas-Little Rock by two at halftime Sunday, but WKU was outscored by 13 in the second half for a 61-50 loss at E.A. Diddle Arena.

The loss, which was WKU’s third straight in Sun Belt Conference play, snapped a five-game home winning streak.

Senior forward LaTeira Owens had 22 points and 12 rebounds, her third straight double-double for WKU. Senior forward Teranie Thomas scored a season-high 16 points off the bench.

Owens and Thomas scored 38 of the Lady Toppers’ 50 points in the game. They were a combined 14 of 26 from the field, while the rest of the team was 5 of 28.

Four players scored in double figures for UALR, led by freshman guard Taylor Gault’s 17 points.

WKU returns to action Wednesday at Florida Atlantic.

Here are postgame comments from coach Mary Taylor Cowles, senior forward LaTeira Owens and senior forward Teranie Thomas:

Mary Taylor Cowles

“To say we struggled in the second half, I think would be an understatement. I think we kind of laid down in the second half. We went into halftime and talked about some difficulty on the offensive end, and we just were not ready to play when the ball went in.”

“We knew exactly what they were going to bring … but we weren’t focused enough defensively.”

On not capitalizing in the post:

“We felt like we needed to get the ball in the post. That’s where we needed to go in the second half. Eleven shots is not enough shots for LaTeira Owens.”

On Thomas’ efforts:

“Teranie not playing on Tuesday was nothing against Teranie Thomas. It was about coaching. She didn’t play because it wasn’t the right game, the right situation, the right defense. We knew tonight she could rebound, run the floor, defend and handle pressure.”

“After Tuesday’s game, Teranie was as good as it gets in practice because she knows that’s temporary. That’s nothing personal against her, and that’s how you want players to respond.”

On how to get Owens more touches:

“We’ve got to figure that out. As coaches, we continue to talk and figure out who can provide that, as far as getting her the ball.”

“When your posts produce, especially the way LaTeira did, it just makes it a greater emphasis on getting the ball inside. That doesn’t mean she’s going to take all the shots. But it’s inside touches that might even create a double-team situation.”

On the upcoming Florida road trip:

“FAU is playing extremely well, and they’re a very good basketball team. And with FIU, even with the first matchup, we know FIU is going to bring it, especially at home. It’s a tough road trip. Right now, I’m concerned with Lady Topper basketball and what we’re going to do in practice tomorrow to get ourselves prepared.”

LaTeira Owens

On the second-half letdown:

“It’s mainly lacking intensity. It’s frustrating because we work so hard to build momentum into every game, and then we just relax. We lose it.”

On a lack of bench production:

“Everybody’s going to have their off nights. We just have to find more players that can come in and provide every night. It’s all about getting in the gym – extra shooting.”

On not scoring the final 2:37:

“We knew we were down five, and we knew we needed to get a stop and make a play.”

On staying motivated:

“We’ve got to get ready before games. We have to find what motivates us every day. We have to find it because it’s going to get later and later in the season, and we’re going to be looking at the wall.”

Teranie Thomas

“We all need to work on being consistent. We’re not being very consistent.”

On her 16-point game:

“I just come in and want to do whatever it is to help our team, whether that be offense or defense. I take a lot of pride in playing defense, so it’s whatever I can do when I get the opportunity to come in.”

On the final minutes:

“We just have to focus in more. We don’t need to start panicking. Just focus on what we’re doing so we can make a play.”

Upcoming road swing:

“It’s not going to be easy. They’re not easy teams.”

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