Techsters Open WAC Play at Denver Saturday
Dec. 28, 2012
DENVER - Louisiana Tech returns to the court and opens Western Athletic Conference play Saturday when the Lady Techsters face Denver at 5 p.m. CT at Hamilton Gymnasium.
The game can be heard live on the LA Tech Sports Network on KNBB 97.7 FM (Ruston), KTKC 92.9 (Springhill) and KVCL 92.1 FM (Winnfield) with the pregame show beginning at 4:30 p.m. A live audio feed an also be accessed through a subscription to LA Tech All-Access at www.LATechSports.com.
Teresa Weatherspoon and Co. begin their final year in the Western Athletic Conference as the University is set to make the all-sports move to Conference USA on July 1, 2013.
LA Tech has dominated during the course of its 11-year membership in the WAC with the Lady Techsters claiming eight regular season titles while recording an overall mark of 148-34 in regular season contests. Tech was the preseason No. 2 pick in the WAC coaches and media poll while Denver was selected third in both polls.
Denver is one of the five newest members to the WAC as the Pioneers have spent the past 13 years in the Sun Belt Conference. DU and LA Tech met four times as Sun Belt members from 1999 through 2001 with the Top 10 ranked Lady Techsters winning all four meetings, including the 2001 SBC Tournament championship game in Mobile, Ala.
Tech (4-6) enters Saturday's game coming off a 12-day layoff as the Lady Techsters fell 77-55 at LSU back on Dec. 16. The Lady Techsters brutal non-conference strength of schedule is ranked in the tough 40 in RPIratings.com.
The Lady Techsters will be looking for their first win away from the Thomas Assembly Center this season as Tech has dropped all five road games thus far. Tech must improve on the offensive end of the floor where it is averaging only 53.4 points per game while shooting only 35 percent from the field and 20 percent from the three-point line through the first 10 games of the season.
Kelia Shelton (11.9 ppg, 5.3 rpg), Brittany Lewis (11.1 ppg, 6.2 rpg), Whitney Frazier (8.2 ppg, 4.6 rpg) and Lulu Perry (8.1 ppg, 3.4 rpg) are the nucleus of LA Tech's offense thus far this season have combined to score more than 70 percent of the team's points.
Junior point guard Janay Borum has shown a marked improvement over the past three games, recording 12 assists and only 5 turnovers compared to 19 assists and 29 turnovers in her first seven contests. Borum has also been Tech's top three-point shooter, hitting 5-of-11.
Denver (5-6) is coming off a 50-48 win against Colorado State in its last outing on Dec. 20. The Pioneers have also struggled offensively this season, averaging 60.9 points while shooting 38 percent from the field.
Offensively, DU is led by sophomore guard Morgan Van Riper-Rose who is averaging 15.0 points per game while shooting 91 percent from the free throw line (21-23) and 44 percent from the three-point line (24-55). Van Riper-Rose has hit as many three-pointers as LA Tech has hit as a team this year.
Senior Emiko Smith is one of the top point guards in the WAC averaging 6.8 points per game while recording 60 assists to only 21 turnovers on the season. Smith has also shot well from beyond the arc, hitting 11-of-26 on the year.
Fans can follow Twitter updates throughout the game by following @LATechWBB.