The Western Kentucky women’s basketball team hosts Texas State at 4:30 p.m. Saturday in its Play4Kay game to support the Kay Yow Cancer Fund, which is a charitable organization committed to the fight against women’s cancers.
The Lady Toppers (14-5 overall, 6-2 Sun Belt Conference) will continue their annual tradition of wearing pink jerseys in support of the cause. A silent auction will begin at 3:30 p.m. in the E.A. Diddle Arena Hall of Champions to benefit the Kay Yow Cancer Fund. Signed items from coach Michelle Clark-Heard, the 2013-14 Lady Toppers and WKU legend Crystal Kelly are among the items available for auction. The auction will close at the conclusion of halftime of the men’s game that follows the Lady Topper game.
WKU is coming off a 59-46 win Wednesday over Texas Arlington. Here are Heard’s comments about the Texas State game:
Comments from Heard on Play4Kay. Here full comments on the initiative can be found here: “I just think this is an awesome opportunity. We just want everyone to come out and wear their pink, and come out and support.”
On Texas State: “They’re big and athletic. They do a lot of different things and change-ups. The head coach coached there with coach Collins. They run some similar things that we do – some motion offense. They have two big post players who are really good. … We’ve just got to get out and guard, and we’re going to have to rebound and play defense.”
Chance to move to 15-5: “It’s always awesome when you can get another win. But to put yourself in position to continue to keep winning on your home court in conference, that’s what it’s all about. That’s what we talk about. We’re trying to be the best we can be in February and March, and February’s hit now.”
Has the focus been rebounding, defense since Wednesday? “Pretty much. You could probably ask the players that. I think the biggest thing when I went back and watched film, what I talked to the team about is our intensity. We weren’t the same team that has normally came out of the locker room, with our energy and effort. I know we have to keep working fundamentally, but when you add that extra energy – the things we do getting to 50-50 balls – I think that’ll help us a lot, too.”
Team having to find ways to get intensity up itself: “If you’re down or tight with a team, you’ve got to find some of that inside of you as a player and as a team to come back and put yourself in a position to win. I think we are growing. But I also know we’re still young. When you hit that second semester, you’re telling the freshmen they’re not freshmen anymore. The sophomores, you keep growing. The more situations you’re in, the more familiar you are with what you need to do in particular situations.”
Micah Jones’ hot streak: “Someone walked in practice yesterday. She passed up a shot. I stopped talking to that person and I told Micah, ‘Every time you’re open, I want you to shoot it.’ That’s how much confidence I have in her and her teammates. I’m proud of her, because I challenged her in the summer to be one of the best 3-point shooters in the league. She’s really worked to try to put herself in that position.”
What her hot shooting does for the team: “It helps us that we can put her at the shooting guard some. … I think the biggest thing it does is open it up again for Chastity on the inside. That’s what we’ve been trying to do, go inside-out. You open things up in the middle. I tell Chastity that every day I take my hat off to her, because she’s battling every second, trying to get the ball and get open with two or three defenders on her.”
Jones, others putting in extra work in the gym: “I told them that from the first day I got here. Putting in extra work and doing those things is going to pay off for you. I told them I wasn’t saying it would be the first week or second week. But when you keep doing it and it becomes a repetition, it becomes natural to you when you get out there, that confidence.”