Lady Tops earn fourth straight win by 20-plus points with 75-45 victory at Texas State

The Western Kentucky women’s basketball team proved it’s just as dangerous right now on the road as it is at home, dominating Texas State on Wednesday night for a 75-45 win at Strahan Coliseum in San Marcos, Texas.

The Lady Toppers (18-8 overall, 10-5 Sun Belt Conference) have won four straight games by 20 or more points for the first time since the 1994-95 season. With their win over Texas State and Arkansas-Little Rock’s loss to Troy, WKU is alone in second place in the Sun Belt behind Arkansas State.

Junior forward Chastity Gooch led four WKU players in double figures scoring with 15 points. Freshman center Bria Gaines had 13 points and seven rebounds, and sophomore guard Micah Jones added 12 points and six rebounds. Senior guard Bianca McGee had 11 points.

Redshirt freshman guard Kendall Noble tallied seven points, eight assists, seven steals and five rebounds.

The Lady Tops return to action Saturday at Texas Arlington.

Here are postgame comments from Noble and WKU coach Michelle Clark-Heard:

MICHELLE CLARK-HEARD

Another big win: “We keep talking about our goals and what we want to do, and how we want to get better every day. For us to play this well on the road, and for different people to step up … it was awesome to see. I’m just excited for this group.”

24-2 run in first half: “Our defense was really good for us tonight. We were able to switch up and do some different things, and it helped us. We made some shots, and we only missed one free throw in the first half. We had people come off the bench, and that’s what it takes.”

Noble’s all-around production: “Sometimes I have to really take a step back and look at it, because she’s phenomenal and gifted in so many different areas. I get really excited because I remember she’s just a freshman.”

UT-Arlington on Saturday: “We’ve got to come out in that first half ready to play. That was another game against Arlington where we struggled. We turned the ball over some, didn’t rebound, didn’t guard the way we needed to. Those are things we have to work on.”

Being alone in second place in standings: “They’ve worked to keep adjusting. We’re up 20 today, and I’m still on them because I want them to have the opportunity to be the best they can be. They take the coaching, and they’re hungry to get even better, so the staff is very excited about that.”

KENDALL NOBLE

Big win: “It’s a big win. It was a good team effort. Everybody contributed today, so it was exciting for the team to do it on the road.”

First-half run: “We started forcing some turnovers. We were active on defense and got some easy baskets and layups in transition. We knew that could make the game a lot for easier us.”

Are you going to get a triple-double at some point? There’s never been one by a Lady Topper. “I don’t know. I’m just going to go out and play hard every night, and if it comes, it comes.”

Getting Texas State back for first loss: “We needed this win. They really made us look bad. They put it on us on our court, so it’s nice to get a win and know that we can beat them even though they’ve got the big girls – that we can outrebound them and battle with them.”

At UT-Arlington on Saturday: “We just have to come out with the energy like we have, get easy baskets. I think the game will come to us if we play hard.”

Has team turned a corner over last few weeks? “We finally found out what it takes to win. We have to play with energy. We can’t just expect to turn it on at any time. If we play with energy all the time, it’ll show on the court, and I think it has been.”

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