Up until last week, the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs and Lady Techsters basketball teams had just one game total canceled between the two programs.
That includes playing seven straight weeks of non-stop conference basketball without any changes.
Stopping that non-canceled streak was not the coronavirus … it was snow and ice. Talk about adding strange to what was already a strange season trying to navigate a global pandemic.
Both head coaches Eric Konkol and Brooke Stoehr spoke with the local media in their weekly press conference on Tuesday and expressed how they tried to use the “snow week” as a positive.
“I give our team a lot of credit,” said Konkol. “We tried as best as we could to find practice times and get players together. On Friday morning, we ended up making the call not to play the games at Middle Tennessee because we could not get there. We have always taken the mantra of control what you can control. We ended up spending time on things that we need to get better at. We used it as a positive and an opportunity to get better.”
“After being in a routine, it presented a different situation for us,” said Stoehr. “I am proud of our team for continuing to stay focused. We just tried to work on us and continue to prepare for Middle Tennessee up until Friday morning when it got canceled. We corrected some things from the previous week and continued to work on some areas that need improving. We are looking at it as a positive.”
Both programs were looking to continue the momentum they built in sweeping UAB over a week ago.
In doing so, the Bulldogs improved to 17-6 overall and 10-4 in league play, putting them in a tie for second in the West Division.
The ‘Dogs, winners of nine of their last 11, will play their final regular season games this weekend when they host the Rice Owls on Friday and Saturday.
“Rice is very different with the way they play offense,” said Konkol. “They spread the floor so much with their three-point shooting. They have good actions that are tough to guard based on their personnel. We have to defend them well on the three-point line. Defensively, they have mixed things up. A very good Rice team coming in here to the Thomas Assembly Center on Friday and Saturday.”
Meanwhile, the Lady Techsters improved their overall record to 13-7 and an 8-6 league mark, placing them fourth in the West. They will travel to Houston to face the defending C-USA regular season champion Owls on Friday and Saturday.
“They are very solid defensively,” said Stoehr. “You have to be so good offensively in order to generate points and easy baskets because you are not going to get that many opportunities. The way they control the ball on offense, they are methodical in what they do and they know exactly what they are trying to get out of each possession. It is going to be a tough test.”
Photo of Lady Techster head coach Brooke Stoehr and staff – photo credit Darrell James