Feb. 25, 2012
RUSTON - Louisiana Tech sophomore forward Tavasha Anderson tied her career-high with 17 points and senior Shantale Bramble-Donaldson added 13 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Lady Techsters to a 64-50 win over New Mexico State before 4,158 fans at the Thomas Assembly Center Saturday.
With the victory, Tech improves to 15-12 overall and 8-4 in league play while New Mexico State fell to 6-21 overall and 3-9 in WAC action.
Anderson scored nine of her game-high 17 points in an opening half that saw both teams struggle tremendously on the offensive end as Tech led 19-12 through the opening 20 minutes of play. Tech shot only 35 percent (9-26) in the first half while NMSU shot only 23 percent (5-22).
Head coach Teresa Weatherspoon benched three of her normal starters for the first half due to violations of team rules but Anderson responded to only her second start of the season by hitting 7-of-10 field goals and 3-of-5 free throws in 27 minutes of action.
With a short bench in the first half due to the disciplinary actions, Tech turned to its defense to keep it in the lead as the Lady Techsters forced 13 first half turnovers that led to 10 points - more than half of the team's total.
The two teams were tied at 4-4 five minutes into the contest when Anderson scored four points during an 8-0 Tech run that gave the Lady Techsters a 12-4 advantage more than midway through the first half. Freshman Courtney Hayes' jumper at the 4:38 mark of the opening half gave Tech a 17-8 advantage as the Lady Techsters took a 19-12 lead into intermission.
Weatherspoon started her normal five in the second half and the energy level immediately rose as Tech quickly pushed the advantage to double figures at 27-13 on a pair of buckets by Kiara Young and a layup by Whitney Jones. Tech led 34-22 with 13:47 to play when a Jasmine Bendolph jumper ignited 17-5 run over the next five minutes as a pair of Angie Felton free throws gave the Lady Techsters their biggest lead of the night at 51-27.
New Mexico State fought back, using an 11-1 run to cut the deficit to 52-38 on a three-pointer by Erica Sanchez with 6:09 remaining. The Aggies would get as close at 56-46 with 3:12 to play before the Lady Techsters scored six points in a 24 second span on a pair of Bramble-Donaldson layups and a Jones layup.
Tech improved to 16-2 all-time against New Mexico State and pushed its winning streak against the Aggies to nine games.
For the game, Tech shot 47 percent (27-58) from the field while holding the Aggies to 37 percent (19-52). Tech also outscored NMSU 30-10 on points off of turnovers as the Lady Techsters defensive pressure forced the Aggies into 26 miscues.
Tabytha Wampler led NMSU with 14 points while Dre Chenier added 11 points.
Tech returns to action Thursday at Fresno State at 8 p.m.