Posted Jan 9, 2004 11:28:55
Techsters Set to Face Fresno State Saturday for Autograph Night
RUSTON - The two teams that battled in the 2003 Western Athletic Conference Tournament championship game in Tulsa last March will meet Saturday night at the Thomas Assembly Center.
Eighth-ranked Louisiana Tech (9-2, 2-1 WAC) welcomes former Lady Techster assistant coach Stacy Johnson-Klein and the Fresno State Bulldogs (7-6, 1-2) for a 7 p.m. tip-off on Autograph Night.
The Techsters look to continue their domination of conference opponents at home, placing their 87-game regular season home league-winning streak on the line against a Bulldogs squad that fell 67-62 at SMU Thursday night.
"We are on the road so much that it is always fun for our team to play at home," Budke said. "We take a lot of pride in taking care of the fans and our home court."
Since Louisiana Tech joined the WAC during the 2001-02 season, the Lady Techsters have posted a 19-0 record against league opponents in the Thomas Assembly Center, winning those 19 games by an average score of 86.8-52.5.
Two of those 19 victories have come against Fresno State, including an 87-62 win last year and a 70-35 victory two seasons ago.
The Techsters started this year's portion of the home conference schedule strong Thursday night with an impressive 110-47 victory over Nevada as six players scored in double figures, led by the inside combination of Trina Frierson with 20 points and Amisha Carter with 19.
Tech also hit 28 of 31 free throws in the game while shooting 52 percent from the floor, including 68 percent in the second half.
Fresno State counters with a relatively young squad led by junior forward Aritta Lane who is averaging 14.8 points and 6.2 rebounds per game. Lane, who shared the 2002 WAC Freshman of the Year honors with Lady Techster guard Erica Smith-Taylor two years ago, led Fresno State against SMU with 21 points and 11 rebounds.
"Arrita Lane is definitely one of the better post players in this conference," Budke said. "She has already had three or four games of over 20 points. She is a definite threat and someone we have to lock in on."
The contest will also match the two best rebounding teams in the WAC as Tech ranks first in the league with a +9.7 rebounding margin while Fresno State ranks No. 2 at +6.7.
Tech leads the all-time series against Fresno State 6-0, including three victories against the Bulldogs last year.
The game can be heard on KXKZ-FM 107.5 with the pregame show starting at 6:30 p.m. Techster fans can also access the audio over the Internet by logging onto the official Louisiana Tech Athletics website, www.latechsports.com and can also watch the game streamed over the world wide web by clicking on the BulldogVision link on the Tech website.