Thomas Leads Techsters to Win over Arizona
Dec. 6, 2008
RUSTON -- With Arizona knocking on the door, Louisiana Tech guard Brietta Thomas knocked back.
After the PAC 10 Wildcats had cut a 15-point deficit down to 55-51 with 7:43 to play, Thomas knocked down a three-pointer with the shot clock running down on the Lady Techsters ensuing possession.
The trey ignited an 11-0 run which propelled LA Tech to a 68-53 victory at the Thomas Assembly Center Saturday night.
Thomas' clutch three capped a career night from the Baton Rouge native who scored 19 points on 7-of-10 shooting, including hitting a career-high 4-of-5 from beyond the arc.
"I was so proud of her," said Tech head coach Chris Long. "She has had some tough moments; she didn't play much last year as the transition to college game was tough on her. We always knew she could shoot, and I always say you don't give up on shooters.
"She has worked very hard the last three weeks in practice, doing the little things that were keeping her from playing more. Tonight she hit big shot after big shot."
Thomas was not alone in her impressive performance as sophomore Adrienne Johnson scored 21 points and sophomore guard Whitney Jones added 17 points for Tech, which played without its leading scorer and rebounder in Shanavia Dowdell.
"The kids played so hard," Long said. "With Dowdell out, we knew it was going to take an incredible effort from everyone and that's what we got. Brietta played great, but she wasn't the only one. Everyone contributed tonight. The bench was into it and that's what it took to beat a good Arizona team."
Tech led 14-12 early thanks to six early points by Johnson. The Lady Techsters then used a 17-4 run over the next eight minutes to grab a 31-16 advantage before the Wildcats used a mini-run over their own to cut the deficit to 33-23 at the half.
UA (3-4) opened the second half strong and cut the Tech lead to 43-38 with 12:09 to play before Thomas answered a three-pointer as the Lady Techsters pushed the advantage back out to 48-38 with 11:23 to play.
The game remained tight and when Courtney Clements hit her third three-pointer of the game at the 7:43 mark, Arizona had closed the deficit to 55-51 setting up Thomas' heroics and the impressive final Techster run.
"When Arizona cut the lead, we held our poise," Long said. "They switched defenses tonight and we handled it well. We took care of the basketball and didn't just take the first shot that presented itself."
Tech overcame a decisive height advantage in the game as Arizona's front line boasted 6-foot-7-inch Beatrice Bofia. UA outrebounded Tech 44-37 despite Tech junior guard Tiawana Pringle grabbed a career-high 11 rebounds.
However, the Lady Techsters shot a season-best 45 percent (27-60) from the field while holding Arizona to only 31 percent (21-67).
Tech returns to action Tuesday when it hosts Grambling State at 7 p.m. at the Thomas Assembly Center.