Early second-half run pushes WKU past Eagles

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. -- Host Western Kentucky broke open a two-point game at the half with a 16-2 run and held the Morehead State women's basketball team without a field goal for the first nine minutes of the final period as the Hilltoppers defeated the Eagles, 65-52, at E.A. Diddle Arena Sunday.

WKU improved to 5-2 and won for the 15th straight time over MSU. The Eagles slipped to 4-5 with their third consecutive setback.

MSU held an advantage for 16 minutes of the opening half. Nursing a 20-17 lead, the Eagles saw the Hilltoppers go on a 10-0 run to push to a 27-20 cushion. MSU responded with a 10-1 spurt in the final 2:19 to climb to within 32-30 at the break.

The visitors committed eight mistakes in the first nine minutes of the final half and only generated four free throws as the hosts pulled away. Senior guard Terrice Robinson broke the field goal dry spell with a bucket at the 11:08 mark.

"We just got too undisciplined in the second half trying to a hit a home run instead of just doing what we did well in the first half," Head Coach Tom Hodges said. "We let the fouls affect us, and we got away from the game plan."

Morehead State only committed 11 miscues in the first half and shot 38 percent. Western Kentucky turned the ball over 13 times in the first half and trimmed that to 10 in the final 20 minutes. The Hilltoppers' largest advantage was 18 with 7:30 left.

"We perfected our game plan, and I told the team I was proud of them for keeping our composure and managing the clock in the first half," Hodges added. "But just like any good team, Western Kentucky made us pay in the end. The next progression for this group is to learn how to do the right things the entire game."

Robinson and junior guard Almesha Jones led the MSU offense with 16 points apiece. For Jones, it tied her season high.

Alexis Govan led the hosts with 16 points, while Bianca McGee chipped in 15 points. The Eagles limited WKU's leading scorer, Chastity Gooch, to a season-low seven. She entered the game averaging 17.

The Hilltoppers shot 43 percent (23-of-53) for the game, including 44 percent in the final half. Morehead State hit 29 percent (5-of-17) in the second stanza but managed a 12-of-15 effort at the free throw line and hit 18 free tosses for the game.

WKU out-rebounded the Eagles, 37-25. Junior forward Casey Ryans grabbed a team-best six for MSU. Govan and Micah Jones corralled six for the hosts.

Morehead State remains on the road this week when the Eagles travel to Cincinnati Wednesday for a 7 p.m. tipoff at Fifth Third Arena.


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