Nov. 15, 2013
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - What a difference a week makes; at least for the Louisiana Tech Lady Techsters.
Six days after falling 68-45 in its season opener at No. 21 South Carolina, Louisiana Tech will travel to Charlottesville, Virginia to face the Cavaliers Saturday at 1 p.m. CT in a game that will be played at the John Paul Jones Arena. And this time head coach Teresa Weatherspoon will have her full complement of weapons.
Tech (0-1) suited up only eight players in the loss to the Gamecocks due to academic casualties but guards Lulu Perry and Chrisstasia Walter and forward Veanca Hall are now clear to play for head coach Teresa Weatherspoon on Saturday.
"We didn't make any excuses," Weatherspoon said. "We went up to South Carolina with eight players and a mindset that we were going in to win. We didn't. Having only eight players did limit us and took its toll on us in that game. I'm excited that we are finally at full strength, and I'm eager to see how the kids respond against a very good Virginia team."
One of the bright spots for LA Tech in its opener was the play of true freshman guard JaQuan Jackson, who scored 13 points, grabbed four rebounds and registered three assists in 34 minutes of action against the Gamecocks. The 13 points was the most scored by a Tech true freshman in their collegiate debut since Tamicha Jackson scored 17 in a win over Tulane on Nov. 16, 1996.
Senior guard Brittney Jefferson, who started at points guard for Walter, was also solid, recording career-highs in points (11), assists (4) and minutes played (37).
One area that Tech struggled in against USC and that it will be tested in against Virginia is in the post where Tech sports more size than in recent history. However, USC outrebounded Tech 47-29 last Sunday and Virginia will pose a similar challenge.
"They have some bigs that are productive," Weatherspoon said. "They are really active on the glass. Virginia is a talented team, and we will have to execute on both ends of the floor. It will be another good test for us. We will walk into that area with one goal in mind."
Virginia (1-1) has split their first two games of the season. After opening with a 63-46 loss at perennial Colonial power James Madison, the Cavaliers bounced back to defeat High Point 73-54 on Monday.
As a team the Cavaliers have not shot the basketball well from the field, connecting on only 33 percent (38-116) of its field goals this season, including only 5-of-24 from the three-point line. However, UVA has hit 78 percent (39-48) of its free throws in its two games.
Sophomore guard Faith Randolph leads the Cavaliers in scoring, averaging 18.5 points per contest. The 5-foot-10-inch Randolph has done the majority of her damage at the charity stripe, hitting 18-of-21 free throws.
Junior forward Sarah Imovbioh has given the Cavaliers their inside presence, averaging 10.5 points and 9.0 rebounds this season. She has pulled down 11 offensive boards and has hit 11-of-13 free throws.
Virginia leads the all-time series between the two programs 3-2, including a 68-52 victory in Charlottesville during the 2007-08 season.
The contest can be heard live on the LA Tech Sports Network on KNBB 97.7 FM with the pregame show starting at 12:30 p.m. Live audio will also be available with a subscription to LA Tech All-Access or the C-USA Digital Network.
Fans can also follow in-game twitter updates at @LATechWBB.