Dec. 9, 2012
NEW YORK - For the second straight game, Louisiana Tech struggled to shoot the basketball as the Lady Techsters fell 73-46 to Rutgers Sunday morning at Madison Square Garden as part of the 2012 Maggie Dixon Classic.
One game after shooting only 17 percent in its loss at Texas A&M Tuesday, head coach Teresa Weatherspoon's team hit only 13-of-52 field goals against the Scarlet Knights as Rutgers pulled away down the stretch for the win.
"We have to knock down open shots," Weatherspoon said. "We got a lot of good looks against a very good defensive team but we simply didn't make them. It was tough for those kids to walk away without a win. One thing I try to them is `Don't play for me. Play for each other.'
"They always say `We want to win for you' but it's all about playing for each other. Let's win for each other. It's not about me, it's about us. And when they get out of that, we're going be pretty good. Our kids walked away knowing there's a lot of work to be done and all those little things that have to be corrected are correctable. That's the greatest part about it."
Tech fell behind early as Rutgers (5-3) scored the first seven points of the game before Janay Borum hit a 16-footer with 16:32 to play in the first half to get the Lady Techsters on the scoreboard. The Scarlet Knights extended the lead to double digits at 13-3 before Tech forward Brittany Lewis recorded back-to-back buckets to cut it to 13-7 with 12:29 to play.
The Lady Techsters then went more than six minutes with only one field goal as Rutgers pushed the advantage to 23-9 and eventually out to 34-14 with 1:45 to play before the half. However, Lulu Perry and Kelia Shelton combined to score seven straight points as Tech trimmed the deficit to 36-22 at the break.
Early in the second half, Tech scored eight of the first 12 points as a baseline jumper by Whitney Frazier with 16:48 to play trimmed the deficit to 40-30. However, the momentum was short-lived as Rutgers netted eight straight points to push the advantage back to 18.
Tech trailed 57-41 on a Lewis jumper at the 10:57 mark of the game but the Lady Techsters then went more than seven minutes without a point as Rutgers extended its lead to 67-41. A Lewis free throw with 3:55 to play stopped the scoreless streak for Tech as Weatherspoon emptied her bench in the final five minutes.
Lewis led Tech with 16 points and nine rebounds while Shelton added 10 points and Borum eight points.
Monique Oliver led Rutgers with 14 points while Chelsea Lee added 11 points as the Scarlet Knights shot 62 percent (32-of-52) for the game.
The Lady Techsters pulled down 17 offensive rebounds against the much bigger Rutgers team while also earning 25 trips to the free throw line, where they hit 17. Tech also forced 22 turnovers by Rutgers, recording a season-high 12 steals.
Tech returns to action Wednesday when it hosts McNeese State at 7 p.m. at the Thomas Assembly Center.