Tech hoops: Techsters, Bulldogs prevail

It was a weekend of wins for Louisiana Tech’s basketball teams as both the Bulldogs and the Lady Techsters picked up victories.

Bulldogs 78, Santa Clara 75

Kenneth Lofton, Jr., recorded another monster game and the Bulldogs recorded a big-time road win defeating the Broncos at the Leavey Center Saturday afternoon in California.

Junior – who was a game-time decision on whether he would even play – scored 31 points and grabbed 14 rebounds and Louisiana Tech (6-2) withstood a furious rally by the home team as the Broncos (6-3) rallied from a double-digit deficit before falling late.

“We talk about being gritty and tough and we were that today,” said Tech head coach Eric Konkol. “After the crazy travel day we had yesterday and not being able to practice.  The guys showed a lot of mental toughness, making big shots down the stretch.  It was a very physical game.  Santa Clara worked with a lot of different speed and length to try to keep the ball out of the paint, but Junior finished so many players.  His teammates kept looking for him and did a great job.”

After trailing for the first 10 minutes of the game, Tech took a 33-32 halftime lead and stretched it out to 62-52 on a three-pointer by Kaleb Stewart with 8:20 to play in the game. However, Santa Clara – which already had double digit wins over Stanford, Nevada, and TCU this year – rode the back of junior guard Jalen Williams, who finished with 28 points.

The Broncos tied the game up numerous times over the final three-plus minutes, but Junior answered each and every time for Tech. He gave Tech a 70-68 lead with a bucket with 1:43 to play and then after a free throw by Williams for SCU, Lofton scored again to up the advantage to 72-69 with 1:00 minute to play.

Tech got a stop and then following a timeout, Lofton threw down a thunderous dunk to up the lead to 74-69.

Tech hit 13-of-13 free throws including both ends of a 1-and-1 by Cobe Williams with 10 seconds remaining and Amorie Archibald with 2.9 seconds to left to seal the win.

The Bulldogs host UL-Lafayette Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Thomas Assembly Center.

Lady Techsters 69, Mississippi Valley State 56

Anna Larr Roberson scored 18 points and grabbed a career-high 15 rebounds and Keiunna Walker and Jadonna Davis each scored in double figures to lead the Lady Techsters to a 69-56 win Sunday afternoon at the Thomas Assembly Center.

Tech (6-2) overcame 24 turnovers, including 17 in the first half, in picking up its sixth victory of the season.

“I was not particularly pleased with our focus and concentration today,” said Tech head coach Brooke Stoehr. “Credit Mississippi Valley State. I thought they played very hard and were aggressive for 40 minutes. We had way too many turnovers and have to be more patient and selective on the offensive end of the floor.

“I didn’t think we communicated and rotated defensively the way we’re capable of as a group. We have some time between now and Friday to improve and correct some things as we move forward.”

Tech led 34-31 at the half and then pushed the advantage out to as many as 14 points midway through the third quarter before Mississippi Valley State (0-6) made a fourth-quarter charge. MVSU closed to within 53-47 with 7:34 to play and 57-51 with 5:04 remaining but the Lady Techsters got back-to-back buckets from Roberson to push it back to double figures.

Roberson recorded her 400th career rebound during the first half while Walker recorded her 900th career point. It was Roberson’s 10th career double double while Walker ended up with a carer-high eight assists.

Davis recorded a season-high 10 points while Robyn Lee added a career-high seven rebounds. Lotte Sant added nine points on a trio of three-pointers.

Photo: Sadie Patton

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