Updated Dec 1, 2003 15:53:44
Techsters Face Tulane in Home Opener
RUSTON - After two impressive road wins to open the 2003-04 season, 10th-ranked Louisiana Tech will open the home portion of its schedule Tuesday night when the Lady Techsters host Tulane at 7 p.m. at the Thomas Assembly Center.
Tech (2-0) started the season with wins over Stephen F. Austin (109-60) and Illinois (67-61) but hasn't played in eight days due to the Thanksgiving holiday. Lady Techster head coach Kurt Budke said he hopes his team won't show any affects from the layoff.
"We're just so happy to be playing at home," Budke said. "We've been practicing well over the last few days. I think the kids enjoyed their couple of day break during the holiday and came back ready to work. Our timing might be a little off, but at this point, the only way to get better is to play games."
Senior forward Amisha Carter has led Tech offensively, averaging 17.5 points and 9.5 rebounds while shooting 52 percent from the field. However, Carter is complimented by a host of Lady Techsters, including junior guard Erica Smith-Taylor (15.0 ppg, 4.0 spg), junior guard Lakiste Barkus (14.5 ppg, 4.0 apg) and senior forward Trina Frierson (14.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg).
Frierson, the 2003-04 preseason WAC Player of the Year, saw her first action in the win over Illinois and responded with 14 points in only 24 minutes of action.
"When Trina was out for the first month or so of practice, the rest of the players developed some good timing," Budke said. "Now with Trina coming back we have to re-establish that timing with her on the floor. Everyone has to get comfortable with each other and with their role on the team."
Despite being an NCAA Tournament team last year, Tulane (1-2) has started the season inconsistently, losing close contests to UL-Monroe (70-67) and George Mason (61-60) while posting an impressive victory over Oregon State (73-58), another postseason tournament team from last season.
The Green Wave boast three players in double figures, led by guard Kelly Nadeau, who is averaging 15.7 points, 3.7 assists and 3.7 steals per game. Forward Lakethia Hampton (14.0 ppg, 7.7 rpg) and guard Kinya Lennix (12.5 ppg, 4.5 rpg) have also aided Tulane offensively in the first three games of the season.
"The first thing about Tulane is that they are always a very well coached team," Budke said. "They constantly switch defenses on you for 40 minutes and do a great job of attacking you offensively. There is a reason that they are an NCAA Tournament team every year and that is because of the job Lisa Stockton and her staff does."
The game will mark the seventh time the two programs have met in women's basketball with Louisiana Tech holding a 6-0 advantage in the series, including last year's 68-53 win over the Green Wave in New Orleans.
Louisiana Tech has won 147 straight at home against unranked opponents as the Lady Techsters last loss came against New Orleans on Jan. 30, 1992.
Tuesday night's game can be heard on KNBB 99.3 with the pre-game show starting at 6:30 p.m.