The Western Kentucky women’s basketball team took care of the ball Saturday and took care of business with a 70-61 win over Arkansas-Little Rock at E.A. Diddle Arena.
The Lady Toppers (15-3, 8-1 Sun Belt Conference) had 10 turnovers, including three in the first half, and used a balanced attack to earn their first back-to-back wins over the Trojans since 2008.
Four players scored in double figures for WKU, led by junior guard Bianca McGee’s 20 points. Sophomore guard Alexis Govan added 16 points and six rebounds.
Sophomore forward Chastity Gooch had 15 points, seven rebounds, five steals, three assists and two blocks, while freshman guard Micah Jones chipped in 13 points.
Shanity James paced UALR (11-7, 4-6) with 15 points.
Here are postgame comments from McGee, Gooch and WKU coach Michelle Clark-Heard.
MICHELLE CLARK-HEARD, coach
Opening thoughts: “Our goal coming into this homestand was to go 3-0, and I sit here today, and we did it.”
Limiting turnovers: “It was just crucial. We’re always trying to find different ways in practice. They have to know the value of those possessions.”
Gooch’s big second half: “I challenged Chastity Gooch in the locker room. Chastity is a very competitive player, and I have to find different ways with all of my players to challenge them. Chastity doesn’t like to be challenged in front of everybody. That’s one thing I’ve learned about her. She’ll step up.”
Sweeping UALR in regular season: “I think it says a lot for our program and where we’re trying to go. We want to get back to being the best team in this conference. That’s our goal every day.”
In position for No. 1 seed: “That’s our goal. I’ll put it out there. In the position we’re in, we want to ultimately get that one – not the two-seed – we want to get a one-seed. We want to be the best.”
Play of Bianca McGee: “She drives me nuts sometimes because she’s an offensive-minded player. Sometimes I tell Bianca I don’t want to shoot a 3, and she’ll shoot a 3 anyway. At the end of the day, it’s high-risk, high-reward. She’s an unbelievable player.”
CHASTITY GOOCH, sophomore forward
Sweeping UALR: “I think they kind of took us as a joke the first game. They thought they were supposed to be us, and I guess they thought they could come back and beat us. We gave them our all.”
Her big second half: “In the first half, I was really frustrated. I had to stop thinking. (Heard) said, ‘Stop thinking. Let me do the thinking for you.’ I did what she said, and it showed.”
BIANCA McGEE, junior guard
Limiting turnovers: “To be a great team, you can’t have a lot of turnovers. Twelve or under was our goal, and coach has been getting on us all week in practice about that. We carried it over.”
Trying to get high seed: “The goal is to get better. If we get better, other teams have to worry about us.”
Maintaining lead: “We work on continuing to play, no matter what the score is. If it’s 100-2 or 2-2, we have to continue to play. That’s one of coach’s biggest pet peeves. If we let up, she doesn’t really like that.”