Techsters Look to Rebound Against Old Rival
Posted Dec 1, 2004 17:54:10
RUSTON - During its 10 years as a member of the Sun Belt Conference, Louisiana Tech dominated the women's basketball scene recording a mark of 159-12 against its league foes.
However, the one team that did cause the Lady Techsters problems, and thus built a rivalry between the two programs, was Western Kentucky (2-2).
Thursday night Louisiana Tech (2-1) will welcome its old rival into the Thomas Assembly Center for a 6:30 p.m. tip-off as the Lady Techsters try to rebound from Tuesday's loss at Mississippi State.
The Lady Toppers enter the contest as one of the nation's most prolific offensive teams, averaging 83.5 points per game. Junior guard Tiffany Porter-Talbert leads WKU scoring 21.3 points per game followed by freshman post Crystal Kelly (15.3 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 77 % FG) and senior guard Leslie Logsdon (13.0 ppg).
Even more impressive is the fact that through the first four games of the season, Western Kentucky is shooting 51 percent from the field as a team while holding opponents under 39 percent.
"Western shoots the ball extremely well," said Tech head coach Kurt Budke. "They can put a lot of points on the board and we are a team that has struggled to put points on the board. We can't afford to not have a great defensive effort from the opening tip."
While Western has shined on the offensive end, Louisiana Tech has struggled mightily in its last two games, averaging only 61.0 points and shooting well under 40 percent. And although Budke is without his top offensive threat in Erica Taylor, he isn't making any excuses for his team.
"As coaches we are still trying to figure out what best fits this team," Budke said. "How exactly are we going to get our points. We haven't gotten the ball inside enough. Even if our post players don't shoot a lot, we have to get the ball inside to create double teams, free throw opportunities and scoring chances. Our posts have to work hard to get open and our guards have to do a better job of finding them."
Junior point guard Tasha Crain leads Tech averaging 16.3 points per game while Shan Moore (13.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg) and Lakiste Barkus (12.7 ppg, 6.7 rpg) are both scoring in double digits.
Tech leads the all-time series with Western Kentucky 23-9 although the Lady Toppers defeated Tech 71-57 in Bowling Green in 2002-03.
"They still have players from the team that beat us two years ago," Budke said. "They won't be scared or intimidated. They are coming here to win this ball game."
The game can be heard on KXKZ-FM 107.5 and via the Internet at www.z1075fm.com with the pregame show starting at 6 p.m.