Jan. 17, 2014
GREENVILLE, N.C. - Louisiana Tech continues its march through the top half of Conference USA as the Lady Techsters face one of the league's top teams in East Carolina Saturday at 4 p.m. at Williams Arena.
The Lady Techsters (5-11, 0-3 C-USA) are still looking for their first road win of the season (0-7) and their first victory in Conference USA after falling 82-68 at Rice on Wednesday night. A win won't come easy Saturday against a Pirates team that sports a 14-2 overall record, including an impressive 69-65 road win at Tulane in their last outing.
However, coach Teresa Weatherspoon said her team will continue to battle.
"Dropping our heads isn't an option," Weatherspoon said. "Our kids are going to continue to work and continue to fight. We haven't gotten the results we want. It's our job to go out and improve on the areas that are preventing us from winning games.
"I thought the kids came out Thursday and had one of their best practices this year. That's the type of response I want to see. It's the same effort I want to see Saturday. We need great effort and much better execution."
The first half of the conference schedule is loaded for Tech, which faces the top six teams (winning percentage) in the conference in the first eight games of the 16-game league schedule. East Carolina currently owns the league's top win-loss record.
Statistically, ECU is solid on both sides of the court.
Offensively, the Pirates average 75.0 points per game and shoot 42 percent from the field, 31 percent from the three-point line and 75 percent from the free throw line. Jada Payne (20.6 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 34-79 three-pointers) is one of the most complete players in the league and one of the top three-point shooters as well.
However, Payne doesn't do it by herself as Abria Trice averages 17.7 points per game. The duo both rank among the top seven scorers in Conference USA.
Despite their struggles to win games, Tech joins Florida Atlantic as the only two Conference USA teams to boast four players averaging in double figures. Whitney Frazier (15.6 ppg, 9.8 rpg), Chrisstasia Walter (13.4 ppg, 5.8 apg), JaQuan Jackson (11.6 ppg, 28 three-pointers) and Lulu Perry (10.1 ppg, 4.9 rpg) are all averaging in double figures for Tech.
However, the Lady Techsters continue to struggle shooting the basketball as a team, ranking 16th in C-USA at 36 percent. Tech is one of the top free throw shooting teams in the league at 70 percent from the stripe.
Saturday's contest will be the first meeting ever between the two programs.
The game can be heard on the LA Tech Sports Network on KNBB 97.7 FM and KTKC 92.9 FM with the pregame show starting at 3:30 p.m. Fans can also access audio online by purchasing a subscription to LA Tech All-Access at LATechSports.com.
In-game Twitter updates can be followed at @LATechWBB and fans can follow Lady Techster basketball on Facebook by LIKING Facebook.com/LATechWBB.