@LATechWBB Faces Auburn Sunday
Nov. 18, 2017
AUBURN, Ala. -- Louisiana Tech will have an opportunity to try to accomplish something that hasn't been done by a Lady Techster basketball team in more than 20 years when they face Auburn Sunday at 6 p.m. at Auburn Arena in a game that will be streamed on the SEC Network Plus.
Tech has a chance to open the season with four straight wins.
For a program that has won almost 1,100 games and that has 13 Final Four banners and three national title banners hanging in their rafters, it is hard to fathom that a LA Tech team hasn't started the season 4-0 since 1996-97.
That was even before current Lady Techster coach Brooke Stoehr suited up for her first game in a Tech uniform. Stoehr knows that the matchup against the Tigers will be her team's biggest challenge to date as Tech enters the contest after three straight home wins. Thus, the Auburn contest marks the first road game of the year for the Lady Techsters.
"They will be tough at home, and it will be very difficult to go into Auburn and come away with a win," said Stoehr. "We have to handle their length and athleticism. They are very good in their zone. We are going to have to score the basketball. We are going to have to hit some shots.
"We need to run and push in transition and force them to come out and guard us. They are long and that is something that we can't simulate in practice. The good thing is we were able to see some zone (against Memphis). It will help prepare us. We are going into an SEC environment and see how we compete."
Tech has won with defense and rebounding thus far. The Lady Techsters are allowing only 46.7 points per game while holding its opponents to only 29 percent shooting from the field and 22 percent from the three-point line. Tech is also +18.5 in rebounding margin.
Kierra Anthony (15.3 ppg) and Alexus Malone (14.0 ppg, 9.7 rpg) lead a pretty balanced offensive attack for the Techsters. Tech has seven players averaging at least five points per game this season, including newcomers Taylor Stahly (8.7 ppg), Nikki McDonald (7.3 ppg), Zhanae Whitney (6.0 ppg) and Maria Delgado (5.0 ppg). Junior Reauna Cleaver is also averaging 6.3 points and 7.3 rebounds.
Auburn (1-1) has split its first two games of the year, falling at Virginia Tech 72-63 and defeated North Carolina A&T 63-53. Dasia Alexander (15.5 ppg, 3-12 3s), Janiah McKay (15.0 ppg, 6.5 rpg) and Unique Thompson (10.0 ppg, 11.5 rpg) led Auburn in scoring. Much like Louisiana Tech, Auburn relies on its defense to win games.
This marks the ninth match-up between the two programs. Tech leads the series 5-3, although the Tigers defeated the Techsters 76-66 in Ruston last season. It is also a rematch of the 1988 NCAA National Championship game, a contest won by Tech 56-54.
Fans can listen to the LA Tech Sports Network for the call of the game on KNBB 97.7 FM and through the Louisiana Tech X mobile app.
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