Jan. 5, 2013
RUSTON - Kelia Shelton recorded her first career double double with 16 points and 13 rebounds as Louisiana Tech withstood a late Texas-Arlington rally as the Lady Techsters prevailed 65-58 before 2,148 fans at the Thomas Assembly Center Saturday night.
Shelton was held scoreless in a first half that saw LA Tech built a 38-27 halftime lead behind 25 points off the Lady Techster bench, spearheaded by nine from sophomore guard Kanedria Andrews who finished the night with a career-high 10 points and five boards.
However, Shelton - who entered the game leading the team in scoring - got rolling in the final 20 minutes as she played the entire second half.
Although Tech built a 15-point advantage at 55-40 with 10 minutes to play in the game, the Mavericks (3-10, 1-2 WAC) wouldn't go away and capitalized on a LA Tech drought from both the field and the free throw line down the stretch.
After two free throws by sophomore forward Whitney Frazier gave Tech the 15-point lead with just over 10 minutes to play, Tech managed to hit only 2-of-13 from the field and 6-of-15 from the free throw line while committing six turnovers the rest of the way.
A jumper by UTA guard Malaika Green with 22 seconds to play in the game cut the Tech lead down to 61-58 before Shelton hit 4-of-6 free throws in the final 20 seconds of play to seal the victory for Tech, which improved to 11-0 all-time against UTA.
Tech head coach Teresa Weatherspoon used an entirely new starting lineup - its fifth of the season - and the move seemed to pay off as the Lady Techsters played much better out of the gates. After scoring the first five points of the game, Tech saw UTA tie the game at 7-7 and take its first lead at 11-9 with just under 12 minutes to play in the opening half.
The two teams were tied four times and exchanged the lead eight times in the first half before Tech used a 20-6 run to close out the first half and take an 11-point advantage into the locker room. Tech's late run was spearheaded by Andrews's three-point shooting. The sophomore guard entered the night only 1-of-8 from beyond the arc on the year but was 3-for-4 for the game.
Early in the second half it appeared that Tech was poised to pull away as the Lady Techsters built a 42-27 lead on buckets by Shelton and guard Courtney Hayes. After UTA cut the lead down to nine at 45-36, Tech once again pushed it back out to 55-40.
However, the Techsters went cold, scoring only 10 points over the final 10 minutes of the game, including eight by Shelton.
Frazier added 11 points while Andrews scored 10 points.
Kiara Parker led UTA with 14 points while Desherra Nwanguma added 10 points.
For the game, Tech shot 39 percent (24-62) from the field, 8-of-24 from the three-point line and only 9-of-19 from the free throw line. UTA shot 43 percent (21-49) from the field, 3-of-10 from beyond the arc and 13-of-20 from the free throw line.
Tech outrebounded UTA 38-36 while forcing 20 Mavs turnovers.
The Lady Techsters return to action Thursday when they host Texas State at 7 p.m.