Techsters Rally Falls Short
March 3, 2012
RENO, Nevada - After fighting its way all the way from a 13-point deficit to take a 70-69 lead with just over a minute to play, Louisiana Tech faltered down the stretch as the Lady Techsters fell 76-72 to Nevada Saturday afternoon in the Western Athletic Conference regular season finale for both teams.
Sophomore reserve Jelena Vucinic hit a driving layup with 1:25 to play to give the Lady Techsters their first lead since 4-2 in the first half. However, with the shot clock running down on Nevada's ensuing possession, Wolf Pack senior guard Amanda Johnson hit a shot in the lane to give UN a 71-70 advantage.
Tech head coach Teresa Weatherspoon called a timeout with 46 seconds to play to set up a play which worked perfectly as Jasmine Bendolph found Shantale Bramble-Donaldson alone under the basket. However, Bramble-Donaldson missed the layup and Nevada pulled down the rebound.
The Lady Techsters were forced to foul down the stretch and Nevada hit only 5-of-12 free throws in the final 40 seconds. However, on two separate occasions, LA Tech failed to pull down the defensive rebound as the Wolf Pack pulled away for the win.
With the loss, Tech finishes the regular season 15-14 and 8-6 in WAC play and will enter the league tournament as the No. 3 seed. Tech's first round game will be Wednesday at 2 p.m. CT against sixth-seeded Hawaii, a team that swept the Lady Techsters in the season series.
Tech's struggles Saturday started early as Nevada used an 11-0 run in the first five minutes of the game to take a 13-4 advantage. The Wolf Pack pushed the advantage out to as many as 13 at 32-19 on an Arielle Wideman layup with 7:23 to play in the opening stanza.
The Lady Techsters closed the gap to 35-29 as Bendolph hit a three-pointer and Bramble-Donaldson and Tavasha Anderson converted layups. Nevada entered the halftime locker room leading 40-31 after shooting 50 percent (16-32) from the field.
After Tech came out of the halftime locker room and scored the first five points to cut the lead to 40-36, the game remained tight. The UN lead remained between one and six points until Tech was finally able to tie the game on a pair of free throws by Bramble-Donaldson with 7:41 to play.
Nevada retook the lead until Whitney Jones - who was saddled with foul trouble most of the game - hit a three-pointer with 4:09 to play to knot the score at 66-66. After the Wolf Pack grabbed another three-point advantage at 69-66, Whitney Frazier hit two free throws setting up the final few minutes of play.
Frazier led Tech with 17 points while Bendolph added 14 points and Bramble-Donaldson recorded a double double with 13 points and 13 rebounds.
Kayla Williams led Nevada with 20 points while Kate Kevorken added 18 points and Chanelle Brennan 15 points.
For the game, Tech shot 41 percent (27-66) from the field, including 52 percent (15-29) in the second half and 4-of-10 from the three-point line. Nevada shot 46 percent (29-63) from the field.
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