Feb. 13, 2013
RUSTON - Louisiana Tech will begin a three-game stretch where the Lady Techsters play the top three teams in the current Western Athletic Conference standings as Seattle U comes to the Thomas Assembly Center Thursday night for a 7 p.m. tipoff.
Seattle enters the contest 13-9 overall, 10-3 in WAC play as the Redhawks are currently in second place in the WAC standings. Tech will face third-place Idaho on Saturday and first place Utah State on Feb. 28 to complete the gauntlet through the top of the league standings.
In the first meeting of the year between LA Tech and Seattle, the Redhawks jumped out to a big halftime lead and never looked back in a 64-47 victory over the Lady Techsters on Jan. 19 at the Connolly Center. It marks the only game that the Lady Techsters haven't been competitive in during the WAC schedule with LA Tech's other four league losses coming by five points or less.
"Seattle really hurt us by pushing the basketball in transition and by crashing the offensive glass," said Tech head coach Teresa Weatherspoon. "We turned it over too many times which allowed them to get out and run. They got too many fast break points and second chance points.
"We must defend and box out better. We have done a descent job of defending lately, but we haven't rebounded well enough. We must get better. We want to make sure our transition defense is better and that we communicate on the defensive end (of the floor)."
In the 17-point loss, Tech also struggled offensively against Seattle U, shooting only 29 percent (19-65) from the field, 1-of-13 from the three-point line and 8-of-17 from the free throw line. The Redhawks outrebounded Tech 55-39.
Despite riding the hot hands of guards Kelia Shelton (14.6 ppg) and Lulu Perry (10.3 ppg) the last six games - the duo is averaging over 36.0 points per game during that stretch - Weatherspoon knows she need more production from her post players.
Both Brittany Lewis (11.3 ppg) and Whitney Frazier (10.3 ppg) are also averaging double figures this year - making LA Tech the only team in the WAC with four players scoring 10 points or more per game - but the duo has been up and down recently.
Seattle U boasts three of the top offensive players in the WAC as well as forward Kacie Sowell (16.6 ppg, 9.7 rpg) and guards Sylvia Shephard (13.5 ppg, 72 steals) and Ashley Ward (12.8 ppg, 77 assists) combine to cause opposing defenses trouble both inside and out. Ward led the Redhawks with 20 points in the win over LA Tech.
The Redhawks started the league season by winning their first seven games, but have gone 3-3 over their last six. Seattle U is 4-6 on the road this season but all four wins have come in WAC play.
Thursday night's game between LA Tech and Seattle is the annual THINK PINK Breast Cancer Awareness game as the Lady Techsters will be donning their pink uniforms in an effort to help raise awareness and funds to fight the terrible disease.
Fans attending the game are encouraged to wear pink and anyone donating $1 to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure will have their named entered for a drawing for a $100 prize. Also the first 100 fans through the Thomas Assembly Center doors will receive a FREE Valentine's Day card signed by the Lady Techsters.
The contest can be heard on the LA Tech Sports Network with the pregame show beginning at 6:30 p.m. Fans can also access a live video feed of the game through a paid subscription to LA Tech All-Access at www.LATechSports.com.
In-game scoring Twitter updates can also be accessed by following @LATechWBB.