Dec. 9, 2009
BOWLING Green, Kentucky - Through the first 28 minutes of its game Wednesday night, Louisiana Tech appeared to be on life support as the Lady Techsters fell behind by 14 points on the road to Western Kentucky.
However, junior guards Tarkeisha Wysinger and Brietta Thomas provided the spark needed to resuscitate the Lady Techsters as LA Tech used a 37-12 run to close the game and defeat the Lady Toppers 63-52 at E.A. Diddle Arena.
After an Amy McNear jumper gave the Lady Toppers a 40-26 lead with 12:48 to play in the game, LA Tech forward Adrienne Johnson hit a jumper that started a 7-0 mini-run that was capped by a Jasmine Bendolph three-pointer and seemed to bring the Lady Techsters back to life.
"I just told them that we can't continue to not play for 40 minutes and expect to win," said Tech head coach Teresa Weatherspoon. "We won. We got our backs against the wall and started fighting. However, once again, we didn't do the little things that we needed to do in order to not fall behind.
"This was a very good Western Kentucky basketball team we just played. We came out and didn't execute like we needed to and that's why we fell behind. We can learn a lot of lessons from this game tonight."
Tech eventually cut the WKU lead down to one on a pair of free throws by Shanavia Dowdell with 5:28 to play and after a missed jumper by McNear, Johnson gave the Lady Techsters their first lead of the game at 49-48 on a 17-footer with 4:46 left.
That's when Wysinger and Thomas came up huge. With Tech leading 51-50 with less than three minutes to play, Bendolph missed a jumper in the lane but Wysinger pulled down the offensive rebound and made the putback to up the Lady Techster advantage to 53-50.
Western would get no closer as Tech hit 7-of-8 free throws in the final 80 seconds to snap a four-game losing streak to the Lady Toppers.
"I thought Brietta and Tarkeisha both gave us energy off the bench," Weatherspoon said. "They both made big plays down the stretch for us. We needed stops on the defensive end and we needed to rebound and they both helped us at that end as well. Western was really doing a number on us on the glass. It was when we started defending and rebounding that we made our run."
For the fourth straight game, LA Tech found itself trailing at the half as WKU led 25-20 at intermission after the Lady Techsters hit only 6-of-28 field goals in the opening half. Tech didn't start the second half much better, hitting only 3-of-9 shots to begin the frame before connecting on 10 of its final 15 shot attempts.
Tech also hit 15-of-17 free throws in the second half and ended the game 23-of-27 from the charity stripe for 85 percent.
Johnson led Tech with 17 points and 10 rebounds while Dowdell also recorded a double double with 16 points and 10 rebounds.
However, it was the job that the duo did down the stretch on WKU's Arnika Brown that paved the way for the win. Brown, who ended the game with 16 points and 15 rebounds, scored only four points down the stretch as WKU hit only two of its final 10 field goal attempts.
The Lady Techsters also held a good three-point shooting team to only 3-of-17 for the game.
Bendolph added 13 points for Tech. Thomas, who didn't play in the first half, was 3-for-3 for seven points and Wysinger scored six points.
McNear led the Lady Toppers with 19 points.
The Lady Techsters outrebounded Western Kentucky 43-37.
Tech returns to action Saturday when it hosts Mississippi State at 7 p.m.