When Louisiana Tech travels to Bartow Arena in Birmingham to face the UAB Blazers this weekend, the Lady Techsters will try to keep alive an unusual trend in this particular Conference USA series.
It’s been dominated by the road team.
Strangely enough, when Louisiana Tech and UAB face off on the hardwood in women’s basketball, homecourt advantage simply has not existed.
The road team has won eight of the 10 meetings – UAB leads 6-5 as the series includes one neutral site contest – including the last five matchups.
“We need to keep that trend going,” said LA Tech coach Brooke Stoehr. “We have been very good in Bartow. We have to do a good job of competing this weekend and continuing to grow on the offensive end. It’s been an entertaining but unique series when it comes to who wins where.”
The last time the home team won was in 2016-17 when the Lady Techsters defeated the Blazers 64-63 on a last second shot by Kierra Anthony. Tech had to overcome a 16-point deficit in the final 6 minutes in order to win at the Thomas Assembly Center that night.
Tech (11-7, 6-6 C-USA) and UAB (7-9, 2-8 C-USA) will test this basketball hypothesis this weekend when the Lady Techsters travel to Bartow Arena to play Friday at 2 p.m. and Saturday, also at 2. Both games can be heard on the LA Tech Sports Network on 99.3 FM locally.
Friday’s game will be live on ESPN+ while Saturday’s game will be on CUSA.tv.
The two teams last met in March when the Lady Techsters pulled a first day upset in the Conference USA Tournament in Frisco, defeating a senior-laden Blazers team 66-63. Less than 24 hours later the sports world began to shut down due to Covid-19.
This year’s UAB team has a completely different look after graduating six seniors – including all five starters – from a year ago. However, Stoehr knows her team is in for a battle this weekend.
“It doesn’t matter who Coach (Randy) Norton plugs into his lineup,” said Stoehr. “They are always going to be extremely well coached. They are going to be super disciplined on the defensive end of the court. They are going to take care of the basketball, and they are going to run good basketball.
“It’s dangerous to look at their conference record. They are 2-8 but they have played the hardest schedule of anyone in the league so far. That’s difficult for any team. We have a lot of respect for Randy and what he does and how he does it. This is a big week for us.”
The Lady Techsters are led by Keiunna Walker (15.8 ppg, 4.1 rpg), Bre Harris (10.6 ppg, 5.7 rpg), Anna Larr Roberson (10.2 ppg, 6.6 rpg), Raizel Guinto (9.9 ppg, 34 three-pointers) and Amber Dixon (8.6 ppg, 6.7 rpg).
Photo: by Darrell James