Nov. 10, 2013
COLUMBIA, S.C. - Freshman guard JaQuan Jackson scored 13 points in her collegiate debut to lead Louisiana Tech in its 68-45 season-opening loss at 21st ranked South Carolina Sunday afternoon at the Colonial Life Arena.
Head coach Teresa Weatherspoon's team played the Gamecocks without the services of three projected starters who didn't make the trip due to academic reasons. Despite dressing out only eight players, Tech (0-1) battled throughout the afternoon before falling in the opener.
"I thought in the first half we did a good job defensively," Weatherspoon said. "We also executed our offense; we just didn't always knock down the shots. In the second half we allowed them to get the ball inside a lot more. We wanted to make them a jump shooting team. We didn't do that nearly as well in the second half."
South Carolina (2-0), who opened up its season Friday night with a 70-point win over Charleston Southern, hit a couple of early three-pointers against LA Tech to jump out to an early 16-4 advantage. However, Jackson came off the Tech bench and promptly scored four points in a 6-0 Tech run that cut the Gamecocks advantage to 16-10 with 7:56 to play in the half.
"JaQuan is an exciting player, who can do so many things for us," Weatherspoon said. "She had a nice outing. She should really have built some confidence playing like this against an SEC team."
USC countered with nine quick points to push the advantage out to 25-10 before Jackson hit a three-pointer and a jumper and Brittney Jefferson added a bucket to cut the lead down to 27-17 with just over a minute to play in the half. The Gamecocks would add two buckets before the halftime buzzer to take a 31-17 lead into the locker room.
Coach Dawn Staley's Gamecocks came out of the locker room and connected on seven of its first eight shots most of them coming in the paint to push the advantage out to 52-25 with just over 12 minutes to play in the game.
However, junior Whitney Frazier hit a three-pointer followed by a Jackson steal and layup as Tech used an 11-3 run over the next few minutes as Tech closed the lead to 55-36 with seven minutes remaining. It was as close as the Techsters would get in the loss.
In addition to Jackson's impressive debut, Jefferson added 11 points and Frazier scored seven points. Freshman Kevione Moten scored three points and grabbed three rebounds in her collegiate debut while another newcomer TyJae' Chenevert added four points and four boards.
For the game, Tech shot 18-of-50 from the field for 36 percent, including 4-of-7 from the three-point line. Tech hit only 5-of-14 free throws. South Carolina connected on 28-of-62 shots for 45 percent, including 4-of-17 from the three-point line. The Gamecocks made only 8-of-22 free throws.
USC outrebounded Tech 47-29, including 22 offensive rebounds.
Tech returns to action next Saturday when it travels to face Virginia.