Jan. 30, 2014
RUSTON - Louisiana Tech hosts UTSA Saturday at 6 p.m. at the Thomas Assembly Center in Conference USA action on National Girls' and Women's Sports Day.
As part of the promotions surrounding the game, any young girls wearing their youth team jersey will be admitted into the game for free. The contest can be heard on the LA Tech Sports Network on ESPN 97.7 FM and KTKC 92.9 FM with the pregame show starting 30 minutes prior to tipoff.
Tech (6-13, 1-5 C-USA) is 6-4 at home this season following its 64-63 victory over Florida Atlantic on Jan. 22. The Lady Techsters four home losses have come against top 25 foes LSU and Middle Tennessee as well as Southern Miss and Arkansas State, teams that are a combined 60-19 this season.
Head coach Teresa Weatherspoon said that despite the struggles this year, her players are still focused on one game at a time. Execution on both ends of the floor is what Weatherspoon and Co. have been working on all week.
"We have goals," Weatherspoon said. "We have team goals. After every game the players can walk into the locker room and see the board and see if they have a lot of red or a lot of blue. We have to cut down on turnovers. That's our biggest issue. We strive to meet the team goals. It's very important."
Weatherspoon said that the losses have not been easy to accept.
"It's not only frustrating for me, but its frustrating (for the players) as well," Weatherspoon said. "We come out here every day and work on the things that have caused us issues. We try to put (the players) in position to be successful. (The losses) are frustrating for all of us."
Junior forward Whitney Frazier leads the Lady Techsters, averaging 15.3 points and 9.7 rebounds per game this year. She has recorded nine double doubles, including eight over the last 12 games. Frazier said that she and her teammates are focused on changing the direction of the season.
Despite the roller coaster ride, Weatherspoon and Frazier said the entire team is keeping an optimistic outlook on the rest of the season.
"We are going to build on the positives," Weatherspoon said. "You take those and build from those things. We have tried to do that all year long. We have to take advantage of being at home and in front of our fans."
In order for Frazier and Co. to pick up a win Saturday, the Lady Techsters will have to slow down UTSA guard Kamra King. The 5-foot-6-inch speedster provided the heroics in last year's 51-50 win by the Roadrunners in Ruston when she hit the game-winning shot with 3.2 seconds to play.
"She is aggressive when she gets the ball," Weatherspoon said. "She is looking to go downhill. It's important that we play defense without fouling. We have to keep ball in front of us and make sure the shooters aren't wide open."
King is the top offensive threat for a UTSA team that ranks last in Conference USA in scoring at 61.4 points per game. She is averaging 14.9 points per game, while attempting 101 three-pointers and 125 free throws on the season.
UTSA added another piece to their puzzle nine games ago when 6-foot-3-inch McKenzie Adams joined the roster. Adams earned the 2013 C-USA volleyball Player of the Year award this past season. Since joining the squad, she has started five games and is averaging 6.4 points and 4.7 rebounds per game.
What the Roadrunners lack in offense they make up for in defense. UTSA ranks fifth in C-USA in scoring defense, allowing only 62.8 points per game.
Tech leads the all-time series against UTSA 5-1, including an 85-58 victory against the Roadrunners in the 2013 Western Athletic Conference Tournament in Las Vegas.
In-game Twitter updates can be seen at @LATechWBB while fans can also follow Lady Techster basketball on Facebook by LIKING Facebook.com/LATechWBB.