Lady Tops, Arkansas State talk about WKU’s 67-64 home loss Saturday

The Western Kentucky women’s basketball team couldn’t hold on late Saturday against Arkansas State, falling 67-64 at E.A. Diddle Arena.

The Lady Tops (11-5 overall, 3-2 Sun Belt Conference) led 48-40 with 11:06 to play before ASU’s Hanna Qedan knocked down two 3-pointers to make it a two-point game. WKU shot 39.2 percent and got outrebounded 37-23.

Here are postgame comments from WKU coach Michelle Clark-Heard, redshirt freshman guard Kendall Noble and Arkansas State coach Brian Boyer:

MICHELLE CLARK-HEARD

How did lead slip? “We gave up two back-to-back 3s. When you don’t guard in certain situations, they’re too good of a ballclub. (Qedan) hadn’t made any, and she made that one, and I knew. We got lost on the rotation, and she made another one.”

Coming back after early deficit: “We battled back. We’ve just got to get better that in certain situations, we’re doing the exact things we need to do defensively. We’re going to use this game as a teaching moment.”

Slow start: “As a staff, we try to make sure we don’t put any pressure on our kids. But they read Twitter and read everything else, and they knew this was a game that could have put us in first place. We’ve still got a young team, and we’re going to keep grinding every day to get better.”

Still early in league play: “You try to make sure you can control your own destiny. They could’ve continued to add to the lead, but they didn’t. We took the lead and just had a couple of lapses. I’m proud of my group and the way we continued to keep fighting.”

Getting beat on boards: “We’ve got to go back and go to work on boxing out and doing some things so we don’t allow that to happen again.”

Play of Noble and Jones: “I was on both of them a little bit. They had grown up. Micah has done a tremendous job for us at the point guard, and I’m putting Kendall in at a lot of different positions. She’s growing up each and every day.”

Those two being aggressive: “We’ve been talking to the guards about staying low to the ground. The motion offense we run is hard to guard when the guards stay low and come off the screens and do what they need to.”

Playing at Monroe, Lafayette this week: “Any time you have to go on the road in the conference, it’s always tough. They’ve worked their way up and climbed – athletic, and they’ll run and press. We’ll have to get prepared for that and make sure we take care of the basketball.”

While studying stat sheet: “I look at the stats, and we were right there on everything.”

KENDALL NOBLE

How did lead get away? “We just couldn’t get a stop like the last three minutes or something. They just kept scoring, and we weren’t. That’s pretty much what it came down to.”

Getting outrebounded: “It’s really disappointing. There were some athletes who could out-jump us, obviously, but we just didn’t get a body on them and box them out.”

Being able to drive to basket: “They weren’t really playing the gaps well, and we could get to the lane pretty much any time we wanted. But we just missed some layups. I missed the layups. … We had a chance to win but just couldn’t pull it out.”

BRIAN BOYER

Getting road win: “I still haven’t figured this team out. Every conference win we’ve had, we’ve been down at least eight or so in the second half. We did it again today, but I just love the way this team responds.”

Qedan’s 3-pointers: “Man, those were huge. The confidence to step up and hit those, they were huge for us.”

Parity in conference: “It’s going to be an entertaining race across the board. It’s been a lot of years, and most years, there wasn’t much excitement to wake up and look at the conference scores because you pretty much knew. But this year, every night it’s something.”

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