Jan. 24, 2013
RUSTON - Lulu Perry and Whitney Frazier each scored 21 points and Louisiana Tech fought off a furious San Jose State rally as the Lady Techsters defeated the Spartans 94-80 before 2,059 fans at the Thomas Assembly Center Thursday night.
In a game that saw 56 fouls called and saw the two teams combine for 55 turnovers and 74 free throw attempts, LA Tech (9-9, 5-3 WAC) built a 21-point second half lead before watching the Spartans (7-12, 4-4 WAC) claw their way to within three with 5:44 to play in the game.
However, Tech showed composure down the stretch and benefited from three of San Jose State's seven players fouling out as the Spartans finished the game with only four players on the floor.
For the first time in quite a few games, LA Tech got off to a quick start as Perry's steal and layup with 16:11 to play in the opening half gave the Lady Techsters an early 11-0 advantage. It triggered a stretch of seven straight points by the Benton native as Tech eventually pushed its advantage out to 21-7 on a Savanna Langston jumper with 12:26 to play in the first half.
After the Spartans closed the gap to 25-16 on an Emily Schill layup with 8:42 to play, Tech went on a run as a Frazier layup with 3:12 to play in the opening half extended the lead to 42-22. Tech led 51-37 at the break - the most points scored by the Lady Techsters in a half this season.
Tech shot 46 percent (18-39) from the field in the first half while holding San Jose State to only 36 percent (12-33). The Techsters also forced 18 of SJSU's 30 turnovers in the opening 20 minutes of play while outscoring the Spartans 28-12 in the paint.
Early in the second half it appeared as if the Lady Techsters would put the game away as a pair of Jelena Vucinic free throws with 19:16 to play gave Tech a 58-37 lead, forcing SJSU to call a timeout.
However, despite being short-handed with only seven players making the trip, San Jose State continued to battle and slowly yet surly chipped away at the lead thanks to some clutch free throw shooting. San Jose State, which hit 32-of-39 free throws in the game including 23-of-26 in the second half, cut the Tech lead to single digits at 62-53 with 13:34 to play in the game.
An Alexis Hill jumper at the midway mark of the final stanza sliced Tech's lead to 68-64. The lead remained single digits and when Ta'Rea Cunnigan hit a jumper with 7:05 to play, San Jose State had cut the deficit to one possession at 72-69.
With Tech lead 74-71, Perry hit a jumper and a three-pointer and then back-to-back baskets by Frazier pushed the advantage to 85-76 with 3:01 to play. San Jose State lost guard Classye James to fouls with 10:59 to play on a double technical and then forward Riana Byrd fouled out with 4:53 to play and Tech leading by five.
Cunnigan, who finished the game with 21 points but committed 12 turnovers, was the third Spartan to foul out with 1:15 to play, forcing coach Tim LaKose to finish the game with only four players.
In addition to her career-high 21 points, Perry added a career-high nine rebounds. Brittany Lewis added 15 points and nine rebounds while Janay Borum added a career-high eight assists before fouling out.
For the game, Tech shot 44 percent (33-75) from the field and 25-of-35 from the free throw line while San Jose State shot 37 percent (22-60). Tech outrebounded the Spartans 52-39.
Tech returns to action Saturday when it hosts Utah State at 7 p.m.