Jan. 11, 2014
RUSTON - Ebony Rowe scored 18 points and grabbed 13 rebounds and Middle Tennessee capitalized on second chance points and Louisiana Tech turnovers to down the Lady Techsters 68-51 Saturday evening at the Thomas Assembly Center.
Middle Tennessee (13-3, 2-0 C-USA) pulled down 25 offensive rebounds which led to 25 second chance points and turned 20 Lady Techster turnovers into 26 more points in the Blue Raiders 12th straight win of the season.
Louisiana Tech (5-10, 0-2 C-USA) overcame its mistakes in the opening 20 minutes of play as the Lady Techsters entered the halftime locker room trailing only 26-25. However, Rowe scored six points in a 14-0 run by Middle Tennessee during the first four minutes of the second half as the Blue Raiders pushed their advantage to 40-25.
A Chrisstasia Walter free throw at the 15:23 mark snapped the run but the Lady Techsters were forced to play from behind the rest of the game. Middle Tennessee extended its lead to as many as 17 at 51-34 on a Caroline Warden layup with 9:29 to play in the game.
The Lady Techsters made a run, scoring 13 of the game's next 19 points as Brittney Jefferson's layup with 5:16 to play in the game cut the deficit to 57-47. The lead remained 10 at 59-49 on a Walter layup with 3:27 to play but Tech missed six of its final seven shots from the field as well as all three free throws as the Blue Raiders pulled away for the win.
In the opening 20 minutes of play, Tech held an early 4-3 lead before Middle Tennessee scored nine straight points. A Rowe layup after an offensive rebound with 11:51 to play in the first half gave MT a 12-4 advantage.
With both teams struggling from the field in the first half, the offensive rebounds by the Blue Raiders proved crucial as five of MT's nine first half field goals came on put-backs. Middle Tennessee led 26-19 after a pair of KeKe Stewart free throws with just under two minutes to play in the half, but Walter scored four straight points and freshman Kevione Moten added a pair of free throws with 3.8 seconds to play as the Lady Techsters trailed by only one at the break.
Walter led Tech with 15 points while Whitney Frazier added eight points and 14 rebounds. In addition to Rowe's double double, Stewart added 12 points and Olivia Jones added seven points and 10 rebounds.
For the game, Tech shot 34 percent (18-53) from the field, 2-of-13 from the three-point line and 13-of-19 from the free throw line. Middle Tennessee shot 36 percent (24-66) from the field, 3-of-20 from the three-point line and 17-of-28 from the free throw line.
The Blue Raiders won the battle of the boards 48-42.
Tech returns to action Wednesday when it travels to Houston to face the Rice Owls at 7 p.m.