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Dance Card: Western Kentucky, Sun Belt

Wave your towels, boys and girls: the Hilltoppers are back on top again.

Who? The Lady Hilltoppers of Western Kentucky, the school with possibly my favorite logo.

What? They're Hilltoppers because they're on top of a hill. The towel? A coach's prop. Big Red? That's... a really good question.

Where? Bowling Green, Kentucky, not to be confused with that other mid-major Bowling Green.

When? March 15th, in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Why? They won the Sun Belt conference tournament.

How? The Lady Toppers got a big game from star Chasity Gooch, who put up 26 points and 12 rebounds, and Kendall Noble's lay-up ended up the winning basket in Western Kentucky's 61-60 win over Arkansas State.

Surprise? Predicted to finish second in the conference, they fulfilled expectations to a T (though see below about the journey).

RPI: 71

SOS: 121

Record: 24-8 (13-5 Sun Belt)

Good wins: Georgetown in Puerto Rico.

Bad losses: At South Alabama.

Who's in charge around here? Michelle Clark-Heard, since 2012; she was formerly an assistant at Louisville.

Extra, Extra! The Bowling Green Daily News.


Losing junior guard Alexis Govan (16.5 points, 4.6 assists) to a stress fracture right before the conference season began was a big blow, but other players have stepped up around junior star Chastity Gooch. Senior guard Bianca McGee, sophomore guard Micah Jones, and freshman guard Kendall Noble all average a smidge over 10 points per game. Gooch, however, is the unquestioned number one option for the Hilltoppers, with 18.0 points and 8.9 rebounds per game.

Random factoid that may or may not be relevant: WKU has seen ten players start at least one game and nine average at least ten minutes per game. Michelle Clark-Heard has done a tremendous job juggling her available players.