@LATechWBB Falls On Buzzer Beater

Dec. 7, 2016

Final Stats

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RUSTON -- It was a tale of two halves.

And ultimately, it came down to the final possession.

Stephen F. Austin senior point guard Taylor Ross capped a 20-point performance with a running one-hander off the glass at the buzzer leading the Ladyjacks to a 60-58 come-from-behind win over Louisiana Tech before 2,486 fans at the Thomas Assembly Center Wednesday.

Ross' heroics were the final touches of an SFA comeback that saw the Ladyjacks overcome a 17-point third quarter deficit, snapping the Lady Techsters (4-3) three-game winning streak.

And although the final margin came in the final seconds, Louisiana Tech head coach Brooke Stoehr said her team didn't lose the game on that play.

"We lost this game over the last two days of practice," said Stoehr. "We practiced well for about an hour or an hour and a half, but we didn't stay focused for the entire time. You saw our youth and inexperience today. I give a lot of credit to Stephen F. Austin. They are very well coached and they kept coming.

"I told our kids at halftime when they were 1-for-11 from the three-point line that they have senior guards who were going to hit some shots in the second half. They did, and we didn't react well to it. We had 15 second half turnovers. I don't know how many times we got called for traveling today when we were in open space with no one around us."

The two teams were tied at 58-58 after a Jasmine LeBlanc putback with 48 seconds to play in the game and Tech had an opportunity to take the lead moments later. Freshman guard Daria McCutcheon stole the ball from Stevie Parker with 25 seconds to play but was called for a charge on the Tech end of the court attempting to give the Lady Techsters the lead. It was the 23rd turnover of the game for Tech, the 15th coming in the second half.

SFA then had the final opportunity to win. After the ball was knocked out of bounds under the Tech goal with 4 seconds to play, the Ladyjacks inbounded it and got it into the hands of Ross who made the game-winning play.

"We knew they were going to get the ball into her hands," said Stoehr. "We talked about it in the timeout. We knew she would go left; she did. We simply didn't do the job defensively on closing down the driving lane. She got to where she wanted to get and she finished the play. That's a senior guard who has started for four years."

After holding a 17-14 lead through one quarter of play, Tech shot 73 percent (8-11) from the field in the second quarter while holding SFA to only 12 percent (1-12). Tech outscored SFA 16-6 in the frame to take a 33-20 lead into the break.

The Lady Techters started the third quarter strong, scoring the first four points to push the advantage to 37-20 on two free throws by Reauna Cleaver. However, Tech then began its collapse, committing nine turnovers in the third quarter alone while the combination of Chanell Hayes and Brentney Branch combined to hit six second-half three-pointers.

SFA took its first lead of the game with 5:20 to play in the fourth quarter on a transition layup by Branch following a LA Tech turnover around mid-court.

"I have to do a better job of getting them ready," Stoehr said. "It starts with me. We have a long way to go but we are going to keep working hard and trying to get better every day."

Cleaver led Tech with 18 points while Rochelle Vasquez and Alexus Malone each added 11 points. Tech shot 44 percent (23-52) from the field while holding SFA to 36 percent (20-56).

The Lady Techsters will return to action Saturday when it hosts Nicholls State at 1 p.m.




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