Updated Jan 6, 2003 03:06:17
Techsters Survive SMU, 74-64
DALLAS - Trina Frierson scored 21 points and grabbed 12 rebounds while Cheryl Ford added 16 points and a career-high 19 rebounds to lead 14th ranked Louisiana Tech to a 74-64 win over SMU before 2,964 fans at Moody Coliseum Saturday night.
Erica Smith added 17 points while Amber Obaze chipped in with 11 points as the Lady Techsters (8-2, 1-0) defeated the Mustangs (6-5, 0-1) for the 12th straight time, though the game wasn't decided until Tech ended the contest on a 12-3 run.
"We had a lot of things going against us tonight," Budke said. "We had 12 days off, we had a late tip off and we were missing Amisha Carter. These players just gutted it out and got it done. They persevered. It thought SMU did a great job; I see why the beat Oklahoma."
Frierson and Ford's performances were even more impressive considering the two Tech post players had to play 37 and 35 minutes each due to the absence of junior forward Amisha Carter. Neither one of the two Tech stars left the court in the second half and were visibly fatigued down the stretch.
"Those two and our big four were unbelievable tonight," Budke said. "The two big ones inside put on all-conference performances tonight. They were so tired in the final five minutes but they came through time after time."
SMU led 51-46 with 11:35 remaining in the game when Tech started dominated the offensive and defensive boards. For the game the Lady Techsters outrebounded the Mustangs 47-44, including a 24-13 advantage in the final 16 minutes.
After SMU guard Shanta Ramdhanny hit three free throws to cut the Tech advantage to 66-64 with under two minutes remaining, Ford hit a baseline jump shot to up the lead to four and Tech was never threatened again. The Lady Techsters hit all six of its free throws in the final minute.
Junior guard Andrea Cossey led SMU with 17 points, including three long range three-pointers, but only hit 7 of 22 shots from the field.
"I thought Amber did a tremendous job on Cossey," Budke said. "She had to take 22 shots to get 17 points. I don't think enough can be said about Amber's job on her tonight."
The Lady Techsters hit 48 percent (29-61) of their field goals while limiting the Mustangs to only 34 percent (26-77) of its shots.
Tech returns to action Thursday night when the Lady Techsters host San Jose State at 7 p.m. at the Thomas Assembly Center.