March 7, 2013
RUSTON - Louisiana Tech's offensive woes continue.
For the sixth straight game, the Lady Techster shot under 40 percent from the field as LA Tech hit only 31 percent of its field goals Thursday night in a 66-56 loss to New Mexico State at the Thomas Assembly Center.
With the loss, Tech (12-16, 8-9 WAC) falls into a three-way tie for fifth place in the Western Athletic Conference standings heading into Saturday night's regular season finale against Denver. The loser of the LA Tech versus Denver game will be the No. 7 seed in the upcoming WAC Tournament and will have to play Tuesday at noon PT against the No. 10 seed.
The winner of the LA Tech versus Denver game will finish as either the No. 4, 5 or 6 seed and won't play until Wednesday.
On this night, the Lady Techsters looked like a team still searching for an offensive identity. After opening the game with a 4-0 lead on Whitney Frazier's layup with 15:56 to play, LA Tech went ice cold, hitting only one field goal over the next 11-plus minutes. By the time Frazier hit another layup with 4:24 to play in the half, NMSU led 22-9.
The Aggies would push the advantage out to 17 at 26-9 before entering the locker room leading 29-17. Tech hit only 6-of-31 field goals for 19 percent in the opening stanza.
Coming out of the locker room, Stefanie Gilbreath and the Aggies extended their lead to 44-24 on a three-pointer by Abby Scott with 14:44 to play in the game. Tech turned up the defensive pressure with a full-court press and forced numerous Aggies turnovers over the final 20 minutes as 17 of NMSU's 28 turnovers came during the second half.
Behind the play of Frazier, who ended the night with a game-high 19 points, Tech slowly started cutting into the deficit and when the sophomore forward hit a jumper with 4:01 to play in the game, New Mexico State's lead was down to 53-47.
However, the Aggies used a 10-2 run over the next three minutes to push the lead back out to double figures as they coasted home for the win.
NMSU hit 22-of-55 from the field, including 7-of-26 from the three-point line. Gilbreath led NMSU with 18 points while Kelsie Rozendaal added 16 points.