LA Tech, Denver Play Key WAC Finale
March 8, 2013
RUSTON - When Louisiana Tech and Denver meet Saturday night at 7 p.m. at the Thomas Assembly Center, there will be more on the line than just another mark in the win or loss column for the two teams.
With the 2013 Western Athletic Conference basketball tournament on the horizon in Las Vegas next week, the majority of the ten teams are still jockeying for position.
The Lady Techsters (12-16, 8-9 WAC) and the Pioneers (13-15, 8-9 WAC) both know one thing. The loser of Saturday night's game will fall to the No. 7 seed, thus complicating their path to the WAC Championship game.
In this year's tournament format, the No. 7 through No. 10 seeds have to play an extra game in the league tournament starting Tuesday while the No. 1 through No. 6 seeds don't play until Wednesday. Thus, the loser on Saturday will be forced to win four games in five days as opposed to three games in four days.
"We know the position we are in moving forward," said Tech head coach Teresa Weatherspoon. "We have put ourselves in this position. I want to see us come out fighting Saturday night. We can't afford to come out slow like we have lately. We can't continue to dig ourselves holes and expect to find a way to win. We need to be the aggressor."
If Tech wins, the Lady Techsters will be either the No. 5 or 6 seed depending on the outcome of the Utah State at UTSA game and San Jose State at Texas State game on Saturday.
In order to win, LA Tech must play better offensively. The Lady Techsters have gone six straight games without shooting 40 percent or better as LA Tech has lost five of the six contests. During that stretch the Lady Techsters have hit only 14-of-84 three-pointers and only 59 percent of their free throws.
Saturday will be senior night for two Lady Techsters as forwards Brittany Lewis and Tavasha Anderson will be playing their final home game at the Thomas Assembly Center. Both Lewis and Anderson will be honored in a pregame ceremony.
Denver enters the game on the heels of a 66-55 loss at UT Arlington on Thursday night. The Pioneers are led by guard Morgan Van Riper-Rose who is averaging 13.8 points per game while connecting on 59-of-164 three-pointers this year. Kailey Edwards (9.8 ppg) and Emiko Smith (8.9 ppg, 183 assists) are the other two main Denver offensive weapons.
Tech leads the all-time series against Denver 4-0, including an 82-77 double overtime win over the Pioneers on Dec. 29 in Colorado.
The contest can be heard on the LA Tech Sports Network with the pregame show beginning at 6:30 p.m. A live video/audio stream of the game can also be accessed by purchasing a subscription to LA Tech All-Access at www.LATechSports.com. In-game score updates can be obtained through Twitter by following @LATechWBB.