Like every other game in the Preseason WNIT, Albany made an impression on the opposition, but Western Kentucky finally dispatched the America East Conference upstart with a 63-54 victory Thursday in the semifinals, setting up a 3 p.m. championship game Sunday at Mississippi State. The game will be televised live by CBS Sports Network.
The Hilltoppers (3-0) were paced by Kendall Noble, who had 14 points, 10 rebounds and six steals; Chastity Gooch chipped in 14 points and six rebounds. Western Kentucky, which had a 32-31 lead at halftime and didn’t start building a lead until the last five minutes of the game, shot just 2-for-10 from 3-point range but did ring up 20 steals.
Albany was off-target from the free-throw line (12-of-24), did not hit a single 3-pointer and was wild with the ball, coughing up 33 turnovers. Shereesha Richards came through with 21 points and eight rebounds; Imani Tate added 14 points and eight rebounds, and Tiana-Jo Carter scored 10 points to go with her eight rebounds. Three players had six or more turnovers.
This is the first appearance in the preseason WNIT finals for Western Kentucky.