RUSTON - Forward Amisha Carter scored a game-high 20 points and pulled down a career-high 21 rebounds to lead ninth-ranked Louisiana Tech to a 75-58 victory over UTEP before 4,419 fans at the Thomas Assembly Center Saturday night.
The senior from Oakland, Calif., was a one-woman rebounding show against the Miners (10-8, 5-4), registering nine offensive boards and 12 defensive boards in 36 minutes of action. Carter's 21 boards surpassed her previous career-high of 19 she recorded in an overtime loss at Rice on Jan. 5.
"Amisha hasn't disappointed me all year in rebounding," said Tech head coach Kurt Budke. "She can do that any night she wants to. Twenty points and 21 rebounds is a pretty awesome night."
When Carter wasn't rebounding she was scoring, hitting 8-of-16 field goals and 4-of-8 free throws to register her second straight 20-plus point performance in as many games.
"Carter is a tremendous player," said UTEP head coach Keitha Green. "Carter and (Trina) Frierson are really excellent post players. I think they are two of the top post players in the country. Carter definitely had a huge impact on this game."
Tech (15-2, 8-1) opened up a 17-10 lead at the 12:25 mark of the first half as Carter and Frierson combined to score the first 17 points of the contest for the Lady Techsters. Frierson ended the evening with 15 points, five rebounds and two assists in 35 minutes.
The Lady Techsters opened as much as a 15-points first half lead and a 22-point advantage in the second half at 56-34 with 11:27 left but UTEP wouldn't go away and cut the Techster advantage down to 13 on a couple of occasions.
"Let's give UTEP credit," Budke said. "They are a big strong team and when we (play in El Paso) it is going to be a battle. They have a good inside, outside mix and usually do a good job of not turning the ball over."
One of the reasons for the Miners success in staying close to Tech was their ability to slow down the pace and prevent the usually fast break-happy Techsters from getting going.
"We are a team that will run and fast break, but against Louisiana Tech we needed to slow down the tempo," Green said. "I think slowing down the temp was a smart thing to do. I think we competed. We had a pretty tough time here a year ago, and we showed improvement tonight."
In addition to Carter and Frierson's offensive output, junior guard Erica Smith-Taylor added 13 points, five rebounds, five assists and five steals.
Tech did manage to force 23 Miner turnovers and outrebounded UTEP 45-32.
"I was afraid to go too much full court tonight because I didn't know if we had enough juice left after Thursday night," Budke said. "I would have liked to have pressed more, but I didn't think we had enough energy. When you play Thursday Saturday, you have to be careful."
Vaida Zagurskyte, Noni Wharemate and Ana Valtierra led UTEP with 11 points each.
Tech returns to action Thursday when the Lady Techsters travel to face Fresno State at 9 p.m.