March 14, 2013
LAS VEGAS, Nevada - Louisiana Tech is peaking at the right time,
The fifth seeded Lady Techsters (14-16) have endured a roller coaster season that has seen the team win and lose last second games as well as blowouts.
However, with the end of the season only one more loss away, head coach Teresa Weatherspoon's team has found some new life, playing its best two games of the year in the last five days.
It's most recent success came late Wednesday night with an 85-58 run-away win over UTSA in the quarterfinals of the 2013 Western Athletic Conference Tournament at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. Tech dominated from start to finish on both ends of the floor, shooting a season-high 58 percent in the win while holding the Roadrunners to only 28 percent.
The reward for the effort is a semifinal matchup against top seed Seattle set for Friday at 4:30 p.m. CT in a game that can be heard live on the LA Tech Sports Network with the pregame show beginning at 4 p.m.
"The message to our kids is that you have to play like it's your last game because if you don't, it will be," Weatherspoon said. "We know we have to play 40 minutes of great basketball."
The regular season WAC champion Redhawks earned a spot in the semifinal matchup after overcoming a slow start against New Mexico State Wednesday to defeat the Aggies 77-53. Seattle is led by WAC Player of the Year Kacie Sowell (16.7 ppg, 9.8 rpg) and WAC Defensive Player of the Year Sylvia Shephard (13.4 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 3.2 spg).
However, Seattle U boasts a starting five that is very balanced as Ashley Ward (13.2 ppg), Daidre Brown (10.0 ppg, 3.9 rpg) and Brenda Adhiambo (7.8 ppg, 7.6 rpg) also provide plenty of offensive firepower.
"Seattle is a very good basketball team," Weatherspoon said. "If you think the level of intensity that we had (against UTSA) was pretty good, that level has to go up against Seattle. They are disciplined and truly methodical in everything they do. We are going to have to play even better defensively, rebound the ball and be great in transition defense. "
However, LA Tech is playing with a renewed sense of confidence during the past two games as the Lady Techsters have shot 57 percent from the field, 54 percent from the three-point line and 70 percent from the free throw line while averaging 77.0 points.
"We need everyone to be productive offensively," Weatherspoon said. "The kids are doing a good job of trusting each other. They believe in each other. We definitely have to walk into this game against Seattle - who we have lost twice against - with this same mentality."
Tech will be trying to reach its fourth straight WAC Tournament championship game and is searching for its sixth WAC Tournament title in 12 years.
In addition to the game being broadcast on the LA Tech Sports Network, fans can purchase a subscription for the LA Tech on-line audio at www.LATechSports.com. Fans can also purchase a separate subscription to a live video/audio feed of the game at www.WACSports.com.
In-game Twitter updates can be accessed by following @LATechWBB.