BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — Two of the best defensive teams in Conference USA will meet on Saturday when WKU women’s basketball and Old Dominion face off at Diddle Arena. The two teams are No. 1 and 2 in steals and No. 1 and 3 in turnovers forced into the league.
WKU is the conference’s highest scoring team, averaging 72.5 points per game, while Old Dominion is holding teams to 51.4 points per game, the nation’s sixth best mark.
WKU (14-7, 7-3 C-USA) vs. Old Dominion (16-4, 6-2 C-USA)
Saturday, Feb. 5 | 2 pm
Bowling Green, Ky. | EA Diddle Arena
Watch (ESPN+) | Listen (ESPN 102.7) | Live Stats
About the Lady Toppers
- WKU will be looking to bounce back from a three-game skid on Saturday after dropping games to UAB, Middle Tennessee and Charlotte. The Blazers are the first-place team in the West division of C-USA and Charlotte and Middle Tennessee are one and two, respectively, in the East.
- The Lady Toppers’ defense has been strong this season. WKU has 245 steals on the season, the eighth most in the nation, and their 11.7 steals per game is 13th in the NCAA. Both of those marks lead C-USA. WKU is also forcing 21.48 turnovers per game which is the 16th best rate in the country. The Lady Toppers are holding opponents to 27.4 percent from the perimeter which is 48th nationally.
- On the offensive side, WKU shares the ball at a high rate, notching 315 assists on the season which leads C-USA and is 47th in the country. The Lady Toppers are the conference’s highest scoring team, putting up 72.5 points per game. WKU is efficient on offense, leading the conference in 3-point field goal percentage (33.4%) and is second in the league in field goal percentage (43.5%).
- Meral Abdelgawad is C-USA’s leading scorer, averaging 20.1 points per game, good for the 19th highest rate in the nation. Her 423 total points scored on the season leads the league and is 11th nationally. Her 56 steals are second in the conference and is 18th among all NCAA players. She’s shooting 54.9 percent from the field on the season, which is second overall in the conference and the top percentage for a C-USA guard.
- WKU has five true freshmen on the roster and the rookies have made an impact. The freshmen are scoring 53.9 percent of WKU’s points through 21 games. Meredith is leading the way, averaging 12.8 points per game and Alexis Mead is behind her with a 10.9 points per game average.
- Meredith’s 42 steals this season is the fifth most in C-USA and she’s the top freshman scorer in the league. Mead has 77 assists on the season, the most of any freshman in the league and the fourth most overall. fellow freshmen, Macey Blevins, has connected on 38 3-pointers this season, the fourth most in the conference.
- Abdelgawad is the lone senior and upperclassman for WKU. The Lady Toppers are the only team in Conference USA with only one upperclassman. All other teams have at least four.
- The 2021-22 season is the 60th for WKU women’s basketball.
Series History vs. Old Dominion
- Saturday’s game will be the 30th meeting between WKU and Old Dominion all-time. The Lady Toppers lead the series, 17-12, and are 10-1 against the Monarchs in Bowling Green.
- WKU and Old Dominion had an odd scheduling quirk in 2020-21, playing three straight games in a span of six days in March of 2021. The first two were played in Norfolk and the third in the C-USA Tournament in Frisco. The Monarchs won all three, but by a combined margin of 10 points across the three games.
- The series between WKU and ODU date back to the 1982-83 season.
Old Dominion Notes
- Old Dominion is third in the East division standings with a 6-2 record with losses to Charlotte and UTEP.
- The Monarchs are holding teams to a league best 51.4 points per game, that mark is the sixth lowest in the country. Old Dominion is averaging 11.3 steals per game, just below WKU in the league and 19th in the nation. The squad’s 35.6 defensive field goal percentage is 23rd overall in the NCAA.
- Old Dominion has two players averaging double digit points in Iggy Allen (14.0) and Ajah Wayne (13.4). Allen is also the team’s leading rebounder, pulling down 8.1 boards per game. Brianna Jackson has 34 blocks on the season, the second most in C-USA.
- WKU will have a split week next week. The Lady Toppers will travel to Boca Raton, Florida to take on Florida Atlantic on Thursday night and then return to Bowling Green to face UTSA on Sunday at 1 pm
How to Follow the Lady Toppers: For complete information on WKU Lady Topper Basketball, visit WKUSports.com or follow the program via social media @LadyTopperHoops on Twitter, @LadyTopperHoops on Instagram and on Facebook at facebook.com/WKUWomensBasketball.