Michelle Clark-Heard talks South Alabama, final week of regular season and seeding

It’s moving week for Sun Belt Conference women’s basketball.

The top-five teams for next month’s conference tournament are set, including Western Kentucky, but the Lady Toppers could fall anywhere from No. 1 to 5 depending on how this week shakes out.

WKU (20-7, 13-5 SBC) finishes with two home games, starting at 7 p.m. Wednesday against South Alabama.

Here are comments from today from WKU coach Michelle Clark-Heard:

MICHELLE CLARK-HEARD

On significance of this week: “We want to be able to finish up here at home. To go on the road and take care of business and now be able to come here and play in front of home crowd for the last two, they’re really excited. We all are. It’s a big week, and it’s always a big week when you get down to crunch time.”

Playing two at home against teams that beat you on the road: “I think it’s awesome to be in a position where you can play at home, and you’ve already got those two road games out of the way. I feel like we’ve gone back and watched film on both of the teams and focused on some of the things we need to correct. Right now, this is all about Western Kentucky and getting better.”

Are you watching seeding? “We have to make sure we’re taking care of ourselves. That’s the only thing we can control. I’m just excited we don’t have to play on the first day and got a bye.”

On South Alabama: “Them and Arkansas State were the two teams that were able to exploit their size against us better than anybody in the conference.”

Saturday’s 77-58 win at Louisiana-Lafayette: “Don’t get me wrong, we still turned the ball over 18 times. But we shot free throws, we made open shots. Those are things that I’m excited about.”

More on first South Al game: “They killed us on the inside. We adjusted late in that game. I went back and watched the film, and we’ll have to change up some things defensively. We still had energy in the second half. It was just one of those games. If we would’ve had five more minutes in that game, I think it would’ve been a different turnaround.”

Nearing largest turnaround in conference history: “I have a lot of friends who got head coaching jobs this year and are struggling some. I’m very fortunate, I know that. There were a lot of games that were close and could have gone either way. We were fortunate to get out of some of those games. But the biggest thing is the people around you, and everybody trying to buy into your vision.”

Deciding to give freedom on offense, challenge team on defense: “Every situation is different, but that’s what worked for us here.”

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