Jan. 16, 2010
RUSTON - Shanavia Dowdell scored 23 points and 16 rebounds and Louisiana Tech hit 14-of-18 free throws after the final officials timeout as the Lady Techsters held on to defeat New Mexico State 78-64 Saturday night at the Thomas Assembly Center.
Tech (11-4, 2-1 WAC), which led by as many as 21 points in the first half, found itself clinging to a 62-58 advantage with 3:48 to play before using a 16-6 run to end the game. Fourteen of the 16 points were scored at the charity stripe as the only bucket came on a Dowdell layup with two minutes remaining, giving Tech a 67-58 lead.
"We simply have to learn how to develop that killer instinct," said Tech head coach Teresa Weatherspoon. "We have to learn to put teams away when we have a chance. New Mexico State is very, very good. There were a lot of things we could have done better at times, but that is a good win and I thought we played with energy for 40 minutes."
After NMSU guard Jasmine Lowe drained a three-pointer to give the Aggies an early 3-0 lead, Tech went on a 20-0 run over the next nine minutes to grab a 20-3 advantage. New Mexico State missed 15 straight field goal attempts before Crystal Boyd finally broke the run with a jumper at the 10:08 mark of the half.
"The first 10 minutes of the game was the best defense we've played this year," Weatherspoon said. "We played great on ball defense and we played great help defense. We forced them into some very very tough shots. "Not only did we do a good job defensively, but we rebounded well not allowing them second and third chances. It was a very impressive 10-minute stretch of basketball."
Tech pushed the lead out to 28-7 on a Martina Holloway three-pointer at the 5:59 mark of the half as the Lady Techsters looked poised to put the game away.
However, the Aggies (12-6, 2-2 WAC) wouldn't go quietly, outscoring the Lady Techsters 14-4 over the remainder of the half to enter the locker room only trailing 32-21.
Tech held the lead despite hitting only 34 percent (11-32) of its field goals as it held NMSU to only 22 percent (8-37) shooting while outrebounding the Aggies 34-22 over the opening 20 minutes of play.
NMSU pulled to within six points at 32-26 early in the second half before Tech gradually pushed the lead back out to 16 at 53-37 on a pair of Adrienne Johnson free throws with 11:42 to play.
However, Lowe almost single handedly kept her team close, scoring 19 of her 26 points in the second half, including nine during a run that saw the Aggies pull to within 62-58 with 3:48 to play.
In addition to Dowdell's big night, Johnson added 18 points and eight rebounds while Whitney Jones chipped in with 13 points and five boards. It was Dowdell's eighth double double of the season.
Madison Spence score 14 points while Boyd added 11 points despite hitting only 3-of-15 field goals and committing seven turnovers.
Tech outrebounded the Aggies 58-41.
The Lady Techsters return to action Thursday when they host Hawaii at 7 p.m.