Tech Defense Keys Win
Dec. 7, 2013
RUSTON - Louisiana Tech held Louisiana-Lafayette to a season-low total in points as the Lady Techsters defeated the Ragin' Cajuns 51-44 Saturday evening at the Thomas Assembly Center.
Coming into the game, Tech (2-6) had struggled defensively during the season, but not against UL-Lafayette.
While picking up the 39th straight win in the series history, the Lady Techsters held Louisiana-Lafayette to 30 percent (19-64) shooting, including only 4-of-25 from the three-point line. With Tech not clicking on all offensive cylinders, Weatherspoon and Co. needed the defensive effort for the victory.
"We talked all week about not giving up easy penetration in the lane and easy buckets," Weatherspoon said. "We wanted to make every shot a contested one. I thought we did a good job of limiting their penetration in the lane. They missed a few open perimeter shots, but overall, I thought defensively we were much better."
After holding the Ragin' Cajuns (4-4) to only 21 percent shooting in the first half in building a 23-15 halftime advantage, the Lady Techsters slowly pushed its lead out to double figures in the final 20 minutes of play.
ULL opened the second half with a bucket to cut the lead to six before Tech got back-to-back buckets by Veanca Hall and Whitney Frazier and a driving layup by Lulu Perry to increase its advantage to 29-17. After three free throws by Tech and a bucket by the Ragin' Cajuns, Tech guard Chrisstasia Walter hit a 15-foot jumper and Hall followed with a bucket as the lead ballooned to 36-19 with 11:33 to play in the game.
The lead was 44-29 following a three-pointer by freshman JaQuan Jackson at the 6:04 mark of the game before UL-Lafayette finally found its offensive rhythm. Sylvana Okde hit a long three-pointer and followed with a driving layup to ignite a 10-0 run that saw Okde score every point and the Ragin' Cajuns pull to within 44-39 with 3:30 to play.
ULL had three opportunities over the next two minutes to cut further into the lead but the Lady Techsters defense picked up its intensity and forced contested shots. Tech hit 7-of-10 free throws in the final minute of action to pull away for the win.
For the game, Tech hit only 30 percent (17-57) of its field goals and only 2-of-12 from the three-point line despite getting plenty of good looks while executing offensively.
"Sometimes you put pressure on yourself when you are playing a game you feel you should win," Weatherspoon said. "I thought we got a lot of good looks running our offense. We just missed a lot of good looks at the basket. Then you start to press. We weren't perfect tonight, and we have a lot to work on but I'm proud of the effort.
"I give (UL-Lafayette) a lot of credit. They never quit. They kept fighting and made it a game down the stretch."
Walter led Tech with 14 points, eight rebounds and four assists while Frazier registered her second double double of the year with 10 points and 13 rebounds. Jackson added 11 points.
Jaylyn Gordon led UL-Lafayette with 11 points while Okde and Robbie Brown each scored 10 points. Tech held Ragin' Cajuns leading scorer Keke Veal to only six points on 2-of-11 shooting while forcing her into seven turnovers.
Tech will return to action Wednesday when it hosts Northwestern State at 6 p.m. in the first game of a men's and women's doubleheader against the Demons from Natchitoches.
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