Posted Dec 15, 2007 12:58:58
Techsters Host 8th ranked LSU Sunday
RUSTON – Louisiana Tech head coach Chris Long knows the challenge his team faces Sunday when the 8th-ranked LSU Lady Tigers come to town for a 2 p.m. tip-off at the Thomas Assembly Center.
Long and Co. are mired in a three-game losing streak while struggling mightily to shoot the basketball in their last four games. Tech will attempt to get out of the offensive slump against an LSU Lady Tigers team that ranks No.2 in the nation in scoring defense, allowing only 46.5 points a game.
“I think they are one of the best four teams in the country,” Long said. “I think they have the best defensive team in the country and right now we are struggling offensively so it’s going to be important for us to knock down some shots and gain some confidence. It’s a tremendous challenge for us.”
After averaging over 78 points a game through its first five contests, Tech (4-5) has averaged only 56.0 points and has shot only 31.5 percent from the field and 20.4 percent from the three-point line in its last four.
During this stretch, senior forward Jo Sneed (46 percent) and sophomore forward Shanavia Dowdell (39 percent) are the only two players hitting a respective amount of their field goal attempts. The rest of the Tech team has combined to make less than 25 percent of its shots.
“Right now we are working on the things that are keeping us from winning games,” Long said. “We are working on getting better. We have addressed some of those issues with a couple of hard practices, and without a doubt, we are going to be a good team before this year is over. Right now we are struggling, but we are going to find answers and we are going to find them through hard work.”
LSU (6-2) is coming off a 14-day break as the Lady Tigers haven’t played since defeating Tulane on Dec. 2.
“The layoff is not a concern,” said LSU head coach Van Chancellor. “We have had a solid couple of weeks of practice and this team is ready to play. We know Louisiana Tech will be ready to play. Anytime you have a rivalry like this, you can throw out the records. We will have to go up there and play well.”
Sylvia Fowles leads LSU averaging 18.1 points and 9.9 rebounds per game while recording five double doubles this season.
“LSU returns all five starters from a year ago,” Long said. “They might be the most experienced team in the country with the best center in the country (in Fowles). However, they are not a one-player team. Their guards a very athletic; their entire team is athletic.”
Tech will be short-handed once again Sunday as he will be without the services of sophomore guard Whitney Jones (knee) and senior guard Nastassja Levingston.
Long will be sitting Levingston for the next two games for her part in Thursday night’s altercation following the Loss to Mississippi State.
“I’ve talked to Nastassja and she understand that regardless of who started the altercation, her actions do not represent what this program is about,” Long said. “Lady Techster basketball has always been about winning and losing with class, and I’ve made it clear to our players that nothing short of that will be tolerated. Tub is a classy young lady who simply responded in an inappropriate manner.”
Tech leads the all-time series against LSU 14-8, although the Lady Tigers have won the last two.
What: #8 LSU (6-2) at Louisiana Tech
Where: Thomas Assembly Center in Ruston, La.
When: 2 p.m.
TV: Cox Sports Television
Radio: ESPN 97.7 FM
Internet Audio: www.espn977.com
Internet Video: www.latechtv.com