Updated Nov 13, 2006 10:49:20
Western Spoils Tech Opener 73-60
RUSTON – Louisiana Tech will have to wait at least one more game to become a member of the 900 Club after Western Kentucky defeated the Lady Techsters 73-60 before 3,042 fans at the Thomas Assembly Center Saturday night.
Tech, trying to join Tennessee as the only two programs to register 900 wins, shot only 31 percent from the field for the game, hitting only 21 of 66 shots.
“We couldn’t shoot tonight,” said Tech head coach Chris Long. “I thought in the first half we got good looks but just didn’t make them. We got 26 more shots than (Western) but lost because we just didn’t make enough shots.”
Western built a 7-0 lead and never trailed the entire game, building as much as a 13-point lead three times, including a 58-45 advantage on a pair of free throws by Kenzie Rich with 7:05 to play.
However, the Lady Techsters wouldn’t go quietly as Nastassja Levingston hit a pair of three-points and Eboni Mangum added one as Tech closed the gap to 61-58 with 4:24 to play. Levingston had a chance to tie the game but a three-pointer with 3:31 to play was just short as Western scored 12 of the last 14 points.
“The good news is that a lot of the mistakes we made are correctable and we will correct them,” Long said. “We are going to become better as individual players and better as a team.”
Crystal Kelly scored 21 points and grabbed seven rebounds but much of the point totals came late on free throws and a three-pointer with less than :10 remaining.
“I thought we did a good job defensively against her,” Long said. “She was only 4-of-8 from the field but made 11 free throws. She is a great player, and I thought we did okay against her. But we still have to get better defensively. We let them get dribble penetration too much.”
Ty Moore led Tech with 17 points and 13 rebounds while Shan Moore chipped in with 12 points and three assists.
Tech returns to action Friday at 7 p.m. at Stephen F. Austin.