@LATechWBB Hosts Grambling State Friday at 11 a.m.
Nov. 9, 2017
RUSTON -- Louisiana Tech opens its season Friday when head coach Brooke Stoehr and Co. host Grambling State at 11 a.m. at the Thomas Assembly Center for the Education Day game.
Thousands of elementary school kids from the Lincoln Parish area will be in attendance as the Lady Techsters and the Lady Tigers meet for the fifth time ever. LA Tech leads the series 4-0, including a 69-55 win last season.
The contest can be heard on the LA Tech Sports Network on KNBB 97.7 FM with the pregame show starting at 10:30 a.m. Malcolm Butler enters his 19th year calling Lady Techster games on the LA Tech Sports Network. Fans can also watch a live video and audio stream of the game through a paid subscription to CUSATV.com while a free audio-only stream can be accessed through the Louisiana Tech X mobile app.
Stoehr enters her second year as the head coach on the LA Tech sideline and knows that the season opener against Grambling State will be a challenge for her young basketball team. Grambling State returns its top four scorers from last year's team that posted a 19-15 record and recorded a win over Ole Miss in the first round of the WNIT.
"They are very good," said Stoehr. "They are returning five players that played a lot for them last year. They have the preseason SWAC Player of the Year in Shakyla Hill. They have a group that went to Ole Miss last year and got the first ever SWAC postseason win (in the WNIT). It's going to be a tough matchup."
Hill (15.0 ppg, 7.8 rpg) joins Jazmin Boyd (11.8 ppg), Monisha Neal (11.1 ppg) and Jazmine Torian (9.5 ppg) as the top returners for the Lady Tigers.
"They are going to go five out and look to spread us out and attack," said Stoehr. "We will see their zone defense and a little bit of pressure from them. We have to take care of the basketball, not allow their pressure to speed us up and then go get quality shots and utilize our size and strength on the interior. We have to keep the ball in front of us and not foul and send them to the free throw line."
Louisiana Tech counters with a roster that includes six returners and eight newcomers off of last year's team that posted an 18-14 record and fell at SMU in overtime in the first round of the WNIT. Kierra Anthony (13.2 ppg, 3.7 rpg), Alexus Malone (11.5 ppg, 7.0 rpg) and Kierra Lang (3.4 ppg, 109 assists) are Tech's three returning starters and should once again be in the starting five. However, Stoehr said one of the team's strengths this year is its depth.
"We have put a lot of different groups together (in practice and in the two closed scrimmages)," said Stoehr. "We have really talked a lot to our team about the fact we have good depth. That's a really good thing to have. I don't feel like we have just a first five. I feel like we have some solid groups of players, and we have certain ones that play really well together.
"We haven't emphasized who is starting the game, but just our strength in numbers. The power of our group will be greater than just five individuals that will start. At any point in the season any ones role could change."
Friday's opener is the first of three straight home games for the Lady Techsters over a seven day stretch. Tech hosts LSU-Alexandria Sunday at 2 p.m. and Memphis Thursday at 6:30 p.m. Playing so many games to start the season in a week's stretch provides plenty of positives according to Stoehr.
"I think it allows them time to play and get in game action," said Stoehr. "We've had a lot of time to practice and they are ready to play someone else. That is the overwhelming theme right now. They are ready to play someone else. For us to be able to go play and then correct and teach and then go play quickly again is a good thing. It allows us to fix any mistakes and build on the positive things they accomplished."
Season and single game tickets are still on sale and can be purchased by calling the Tech Ticket Office at 318-257-3631 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Doors to the Thomas Assembly Center will open at 9:30 a.m.
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