Fourth quarter fade foils Techsters’ bid to sweep UNT

A gritty comeback was spoiled by a fourth quarter fade Saturday, costing the Louisiana Tech women’s basketball team what would have been an impressive sweep of visiting North Texas.

Tech (11-7 overall, 6-6 in Conference USA) started and finished badly in a 63-58 defeat, ruining its bid to duplicate a Friday night 60-55 victory over UNT (9-4, 6-2). Saturday, the Mean Green bolted out 19-4, but the Lady Techsters fought back into a seven-point lead in the third quarter.

The final period went awry for Tech, which sank just 2 of 14 shots and was outscored 20-9 – with 11 coming from guard Quincy Noble, who shot 10 of 13 for the game including 6 of 9 on 3-pointers in a game-high 28-point performance.

A fatal flaw by the Techsters was 20 turnovers, said coach Brooke Stoehr.

“We had too many unforced turnovers. They went to their zone for a good bit of the game. We handled it at times, got some really good looks, but you can’t turn the ball over 20 times.”

The loss overshadowed some solid offensive performances by Bre Harris and Amber Dixon. Harris recorded her second career double-double with 17 points and a career-best 14 rebounds while Dixon added 16 points, six rebounds, three assists and two steals.

Friday night, the Lady Techsters held the Mean Green to their season-worst shooting aim (29 percent) and Tech sank 22 of 25 free throws, including all 12 in the nailbiting fourth quarter.

UNT scored 19 below its season average and made only 4 of 28 of its 3-pointers.

Freshman guard Keiunna Walker scored 17 points and snagged a career-high nine rebounds, including a couple late ones that were crucial to the outcome, said Stoehr.

“If we can get our guards rebounding like that, we’re going to be pretty solid,” she said.

Walker and Dixon each sank two free throws in the final 1:07 as Tech kept UNT off the scoreboard and pushed away from a 56-55 edge.

Anna Larr Roberson notched her fourth double-double this season with 10 points and 12 rebounds, while Dixon added 13 points and Raizel Guinto contributed 10. Roberson, Dixon and Walker combined for all of LA Tech’s 20 fourth-quarter points.

The Lady Techsters travel to UAB for a two-game league series beginning Friday afternoon at 2.

SOCCER: A strong defensive outing and a goal by Amber Posthauer late in the first period allowed Louisiana Tech to pull out a 1-0 shutout victory on the road against Texas Woman’s on Sunday afternoon at the Pioneer Soccer Field.

It marked the first win of the spring season for LA Tech (3-2), who began a stretch of seven consecutive contests away from home. It was also another milestone for 14-year head coach Kevin Sherry who notched career win No. 150 at the helm of the Lady Techsters.

TENNIS: Before the Super Bowl kicked off, the LA Tech women’s tennis team knocked off Grambling twice Sunday afternoon. After a pair of shutout wins (7-0, 4-0), Tech improved to 4-2. Grambling dipped to 0-3.

The Techsters play at Nicholls and Southern next weekend. Their next home match is Feb. 23 against UNO.

Photo: by Darrell James


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