Techsters, Dogs pick up weekend wins

Bulldogs 78, UL-Lafayette 69

Louisiana Tech overcame foul trouble and poor shooting in the first half to storm back and defeat UL-Lafayette, 78-69, on Saturday inside the Thomas Assembly Center on Karl Malone Court.

“I thought a couple of our looks in the first half were open, we just missed,” said Tech head coach Eric Konkol. “Then, we took some tough ones and a little doubt creeped in.  UL-Lafayette has a lot of size and has been a team that has defended very well this year.  We just needed to keep moving on to the next play, find the next open shot. 

“We were fortunate with the foul trouble we had [in the first half] with Christon and Lofton to be down only three at halftime.  We kept chipping away.  We needed to let our defense ignite our offense, get out in transition more and put more pressure in the paint.  Cobe Williams was dynamic with pushing tempo and we were able to make our free throws.”  

Two quick fouls apiece for Exavian Christon and Kenneth Lofton, Jr. in the first stanza, combined with an 0-for-13 shooting effort from beyond the arc and the difficult of guarding Jordan Brown, put LA Tech (7-2) in the hole. 

Down as much as nine points on three different occasions, the cold-shooting Bulldogs found a late 6-0 run in them to get to within three at 34-31 at the midway point of the game. 

It was not until the 17:28 mark in the second half that the ‘Dogs took their first lead of the game at 39-38 after a fastbreak layup by Cobe Williams who finished with a career-high 20 points and a season-high seven rebounds.

The lead was short-lived though as UL-Lafayette (5-4) countered with a 9-3 run, including four of Brown’s game-high 30 points, to hold a 47-42 edge. 

The home team started to heat up on offense, getting a deep three-pointer from Keaston Willis as well as an up-and-under three-point play by Junior, to go on a 10-0 run and grab a 52-47 advantage. 

The game was neck-and-neck going down to the wire.  With LA Tech holding a slim three-point lead with two minutes to play, Archibald scored a layup on a back-door pass from Junior.  The fifth-year senior then got back-to-back steals in the span of 20 seconds on the defensive end and sank all four free throws on the offensive end to help seal the victory.

The team made 20 of their 24 free throw attempts, getting a season-high 18 points from Archibald and a sixth double-double from Junior who ended with 17 points and a game-high 10 rebounds.

LA Tech will face LSU-Shreveport on Tuesday, Dec. 14 at 6:30 p.m. inside the Thomas Assembly Center on Karl Malone Court. 

LA Techsters 77, Sam Houston 52

Junior Keiunna Walker tied her season-high with 26 points as the Lady Techsters shot 57 percent from the field to blow past Sam Houston, 77-52, Friday night inside the Thomas Assembly Center.

The Lady Techsters improve to 7-2 on the year with the win, its best start since the 2003-04 season (8-1), while Sam Houston falls to 4-4 overall with the loss.

LA Tech extends it home winning streak against non-conference opponents to 16 straight games, the fourth longest in school history.

“I loved our focus this week in practice and we were locked in from the get go today,” said Tech head coach Brooke Stoehr. “I was very pleased with our effort today and that started with Keiunna Walker.  She set the tone for us on both ends of the floor.

“Our energy defensively, was as good as it has been all year. We were able to get a lot of high percentage shots tonight. We shot 57 percent from the field because we got layups and good looks inside. I though we got really good production from everyone that stepped onto the court tonight.”

Despite tough defensive pressure by the Lady Techsters to start the game, Sam Houston jumped out to an early 12-8 lead midway through the first quarter. Trailing by four with 5:07 remaining in the opening frame, Tech sparked a 18-0 run to take a commanding lead with 8:18 left in the second quarter.

Five Lady Techsters contributed to the run, led by six straight point from sophomore Anna Larr Roberson and four each from Walker and sophomore Lotte Sant.

Sam Houston answered with six straight points to cut the deficit down to ten at 30-20 with 3:54 left in the second quarter. A pair of baskets by Walker and a buzzer beating jumper by sophomore Salma Bates gave Tech a 39-25 advantage entering the break.

The Bearkats cut the deficit down to 11 at 49-38 with a 9-4 burst, but would not get any closer. Second year freshman Kate Thompson scored the next six points for the Lady Techsters to take a 57-42 lead into the final frame.

The Lady Techsters have a nine-day break before hitting the road to take on UL-Lafayette on Dec. 19 at 4 p.m. inside the Cajundome.

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