Feb. 20, 2014
RUSTON - Louisiana Tech head coach Teresa Weatherspoon has been looking for a complete 40 minutes of basketball from her Lady Techster team this year.
On Wednesday night in Tulsa, Weatherspoon got exactly that plus some as Louisiana Tech (8-17, 3-9 C-USA) used overtime to defeat the Golden Hurricane for its first road win of the year.
Tech has an opportunity to build upon the momentum garnered from the impressive performance at Tulsa when the Lady Techster host Rice Saturday at 6 p.m. at the Thomas Assembly Center.
"I was proud of our heart and competitive spirit (against Tulsa)," Weatherspoon said. "We showed a real mental toughness in that game. Now we need to show that we can come out and play that same way again. I know we can. The players know we can. It's a matter of doing it. We still have a lot to play for besides just pride."
The meeting with Rice will be the 15th all-time and the second this season. Although Tech leads the all-time series 9-5, the Owls (11-14, 4-8 C-USA) defeated the Lady Techsters 82-68 on Jan. 15 in Houston. In that game Rice shot 54 percent from the field as Jessica Kuster scored 21 points and grabbed 15 rebounds while Jasmine Goodwine added 19 points.
Kuster is one of the top players in Conference USA, averaging 20.9 points and 13.4 rebounds per game which ranks fourth in the nation. The 6-foot-1-inch forward also leads Rice in steals (42) and blocks (35) while leading the league in double doubles with 21 in 24 games.
Kuster has scored more than three times as many points as any of her teammates as Christal Porter averages 6.9 points and 6.3 rebounds per contest.
Rice enters the contest having lost seven of its last eight games, including an 85-49 loss at home against Old Dominion on Wednesday night.
Whitney Frazier continues to lead LA Tech, averaging 16.2 points and 9.9 rebounds per game as she attempts to become only the 10th player in program history to average a double double for an entire season. Frazier scored 23 points in the win over Tulsa and currently sits in 39th place on the Tech career scoring list.
JaQuan Jackson (11.4 ppg, 45-132 three-pointers) needs only four more three-pointers to break Tamicha Jackson's freshman record of 48 set in 1995-96.
The contest can be heard on the LA Tech Sports Network on KNBB 97.7 FM and KJVC 92.9 FM with the pregame show set for 5:30 p.m.