Tech hoop teams pick up wins

Bulldogs 99, Crowley’s Ridge 56

Louisiana Tech led wire-to-wire in a 99-56 blowout win over Crowley’s Ridge College to wrap up non-conference play on Wednesday inside the Thomas Assembly Center on Karl Malone Court.

“Anytime you go into the Christmas break, you are asking your team to stay focused,” said Tech head coach Eric Konkol. “In this game, we wanted to play with effort and share the basketball.  I was hopeful to get a lot of guys in the game and get some experience.  We were able to do that. 

“Was pleased to see 21 assists and just six turnovers.  A number of guys scored.  A lot of good things.  Happy to send our guys home for a few days with a win under their belt.”

LA Tech (9-3) opened the game on an 11-0 run and finished the first half on a 15-0 run to take a commanding 50-22 lead into the locker room at halftime.

The lead gradually grew in the second stanza as all 11 players scored, maxing out at a 46-point advantage after Ben Ponder scored in a driving layup with just 22 seconds remaining.

Ponder, along with Amorie Archibald, Terran Williams, Kenny Hunter and Stacey Thomas (playing for the first time this season) all recorded new season highs in scoring.  Archibald led the way with 20 points.

The Bulldogs were dominant inside, scoring 62 points in the paint while shooting 79 percent from two (made 34 of their 43 two-point field goals).  They ended up shooting a season-high 57.1 percent from the field while also scoring a season high in points.

Crowley’s Ridge (1-14) managed just 20 made field goals on 31.7 percent shooting.  Three Pioneers found double-digits in scoring, led by Braxton Cousins who had 20.

Lady Techsters 74, McNeese State 57

On a night where Tech shot only 28 percent from the field, the Lady Techsters set a program record with 40 made free throws in defeating McNeese State 74-57 in Lake Charles.

Tech (8-3) hit 40-of-46 free throws (12-14 in first quarter, 12-14 in second quarter, 8-8 in third quarter, 8-10 in fourth quarter) to pick up its eighth win in 11 non-conference games.

“I’ve never in my life … did we make more points from the free throw line than from field goals,” said Tech head coach Brooke Stoehr. “Forty-six free throw attempts; that’s unbelievable. Funny thing is we told our players earlier today not to expect to shoot a lot of free throws. Normally in games right before Christmas, you don’t see a lot of fouls called.

“The beauty of it was we made 40 of them. I am proud of our players. We had some adversity, and I thought our group went on the road and handled it well.”

Tech played without Anna Larr Roberson, its second leading scorer and leading rebounder. And leading scorer Keiunna Walker picked up two fouls in the first three minutes of the game while also struggling from the field, hitting just 1-of-12 attempts on the night.

But freshmen Kate Thompson, Mackenzie Wurm and Amaya Brannon stepped up big, combining for 42 points and 23 rebounds, 5 blocks and 2 steals. Thompson scored 14 points, grabbed eight rebounds and added two blocks and two steals while Wurm recorded 12 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks for her first career double double. Brannon had a game-high 16 points.

“We played a lot of people who don’t normally play a lot of minutes,” said Stoehr. “When you don’t have your anchor inside in Anna Larr directing the defense and cleaning up the boards … I just can’t say enough about the job Kate and Mackenzie and Amaya did.”

Tech led 25-16 at the first quarter and held a 43-29 lead at the break. The Techsters pushed the advantage out to 60-40 before coasting to the win.

Amaya Brannon added 16 points and six rebounds while Keiunna Walker chipped in with 12 points in the win.

To report an issue or typo with this articleCLICK HERE