Techsters Scorch Nets in 84-71 Win
Nov. 25, 2011
ST. THOMAS, U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS - Louisiana Tech shot a season-high 58 percent from the field and four Lady Techsters scored in double figures in an 84-71 win over Old Dominion Friday afternoon at the University of Virgin Islands Sports and Recreation Center in day two of the Paradise Jam.
"The difference in today and yesterday was our kids accepted the challenge," said Tech head coach Teresa Weatherspoon, who saw her team blow a 13-point halftime lead in a 72-69 loss to Seton Hall on Thursday. "We knew we were going to be undersized and our kids accepted the challenge of beating their man to the spot and being physical all game long.
"I'm proud of our effort. We played hard for 40 minutes. This shows what you can accomplish when you do that. We had a lot of players step up, and when we can be balanced offensively, we are tough to stop. We have a great shooting team."
One day after hitting 49 percent of their field goals in the loss to the Pirates, the Lady Techsters connected on 31-of-54, including 64 percent (16-of-25) in a second half that saw them score 51 points. Tech's ability to knock down open shots was crucial against an Old Dominion team that boasted the 6-foot-3 tandem of Tia Lewis (24 points, 10 rebounds) and Shaveka Richards (18 points, 5 rebounds).
After holding a nine-point halftime lead, Tech came out in the final stanza and pushed the advantage to 46-31 on a three-pointer by Angie Felton with 15:51 to play. ODU (1-5) wouldn't go quietly as the Monarchs - who defeated Alabama 77-76 on Thursday - chipped away at the deficit, cutting it to as few as five on three separate occasions.
A Richard's jumper at the 4:00 minute mark of the game closed the gap to 70-65. However, with the shot clock running down on Tech's next possession, Bendolph hit a huge three-pointer that ignited an 8-0 run as the lead was once extended to double figures at 78-65.
Tech hit 8-of-11 free throws in the final two minutes to seal the victory, improving its all-time record against Old Dominion to 15-5.
In the first half, Old Dominion came out strong building an 18-13 advantage on a Richards' short jumper in the lane with 10:40 to play in the opening half. However, sophomore guard Jelena Vucinic provided a huge spark off the bench as the New Zealand native hit a driving layup and a three-pointer while recording two rebounds, one assist and a drawn charge as Tech used a 20-6 lead to close the half.
"I am so proud of Jelena," Weatherspoon said. "I think this really did her some good. I think she realizes now that she can compete with anyone. We was a big factor in our success today."
Kiara Young recorded her best performance of the year for Tech, hitting 7-of-12 field goals, including her first three-pointer of the year and a number of 18-footers, to score 16 points while junior Brittany Hardy added a career-high 14 points in the win.
Old Dominion won the rebounding battle 34-28 although the Lady Techsters outrebounded the Monarchs 17-16 in the second half.
The Lady Techsters complete their schedule in the event when they tip off Saturday at 2:15 p.m. CT against Alabama in a game that can be heard on the LA Tech Sports Network on ESPN 97.7 FM with the pregame show beginning at 1:45 p.m.
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