Feb. 14, 2013
RUSTON - Kacie Sowell scored 26 points and Seattle shot 52 percent from the field to defeat Louisiana Tech 87-74 before 2,351 fans at the Thomas Assembly Center Thursday night.
The Redhawks (14-9, 11-3 WAC) hit 27-of-52 field goals to become only the second team this season to eclipse the 50 percent plateau against LA Tech, joining the Rutgers Scarlett Knights who accomplished the feat on Dec. 9 at Madison Square Garden.
"The game was too simple to them," said Tech head coach Teresa Weatherspoon. "We didn't defend. They got any basket they wanted and ran any offense they wanted. They got the ball wherever they wanted. They did whatever they wanted. We didn't play as a unit. We didn't do anything that we worked on all week in practice. We didn't play as a team. Anybody is going to score with us defending like that. Anybody.
"It's very simple. If you don't put yourself in great position to defend someone in relationship to where the basketball is on the floor, you are going to get beat on duck-ins every single time. You will get beat with flashes every single time. It is all about what you do defensively. If you don't get down and alert, you are never going to be a great basketball team defensively. That's where it starts."
Whitney Frazier scored 20 points and Brittany Lewis added 11 points before fouling out but the Lady Techsters never managed to completely overcome a first half double digit deficit, falling for the second straight time and the second time in as many tries against Seattle.
Playing without guard Kelia Shelton who was suspended for violating team rules in the first half, LA Tech managed to stay within striking distances despite committing 15 first half turnovers. After holding an early 6-0 lead, Tech watched Seattle use a 24-6 run over a six-minute stretch as the Redhawks led 24-12 on a Daidra Brown fast-break layup with 12:10 to play in the opening half.
"We turned the ball over way too many times, and in crucial moments," Weatherspoon said. "We did that and then there was no one back defensively, and they scored in transition. That fuels their fire. That got their energy flowing. They felt like this was their house and they played like it."
Despite playing the majority of the first half with Lewis on the bench with three fouls, the Lady Techsters got solid production off the bench from Courtney Hayes and Jelena Vucinic who combined for 11 points and four assists. Hayes jumper as the first half buzzer sounded cut the Seattle halftime lead to 43-37.
With Lewis and Shelton both back on the floor to start the second half, Tech hit 5-of-8 shots to open the final 20 minutes of play. Two free throws by Frazier with 14:22 to play in the game closed the gap to 49-48.
However, the Lady Techsters went cold - hitting only 6 of their final 26 shots - and Seattle continued to execute on the offensive end while also hitting 31-of-36 free throws as the Redhawks closed the game on a 38-26 run.
In addition to Frazier and Lewis' offensive production, Hayes ended with a career-high eight points, career-high seven assists and career-high four steals while committing only one turnover in 22 minutes of action.
Tech returns to action Saturday when its hosts Idaho at 7 p.m.