Weekend college hoops wrap-up

Keiunna Walker (2) was the lone player in double figures in the Lady Techsters Sunday loss to UTEP.

Courtesy of LA Tech and GSU Athletic Communications Departments

UTEP 62, Lady Techsters 54 (Sunday)

Louisiana Tech women’s basketball team dropped their 2022-23 Conference USA opener to UTEP, 62-54, Sunday afternoon inside the Thomas Assembly Center in a game that featured eight lead changes and six ties.

Despite LA Tech (7-4, 0-1 C-USA) shooting over 50 percent from the floor and from three and holding the Miners to 35 percent shooting, UTEP (8-2, 1-0 C-USA) used a combination of offensive rebounds and forced turnovers to generate 25 more shots than the Techsters (64-39).

In the first quarter, the game was dominated by quick whistles and turnovers that led to a very choppy start for both teams, but three UTEP threes gave the Miners a 13-10 edge after one. 

UTEP continued to hit from deep, building a 22-14 lead with 6:46 left in the half but Gabbie Green hit two threes of her own as part of a LA Tech 8-0 run to tie the game at 22. 

Jazion Jackson responded with back-to-back threes to retake the lead for the Miners at the half, 28-24. Jackson hit 5-8 from deep.

To start the second half, the Lady Techsters came out of the halftime locker room on fire using a 12-2 run capped off by an Anna Larr Roberson three and Amaya Brannon layup to take their largest lead of the game, 36-30, with 6:32 left in the third. 

UTEP responded once again with an 14-3 run of their own over the next four minutes to retake a 44-39 lead at the end of the third. 

Halfway through the final stanza, Lotte Sant’s three tied the game at 48-48, but UTEP used 7-2 to regain a 55-50 lead with 1:28 left and hit five free throws down the stretch to match their largest lead of the game en route to the 62-54 final. 

Keiunna Walker led the Techsters with 12 points, while Anna Larr Roberson and Gabbie Green added nine each. Tech was led on the glass by Amaya Brannon, who had seven rebounds.


UTEP 60, Bulldogs 55 (Saturday)

Turnovers and poor shooting by Louisiana Tech ended up being the difference in the Conference USA opener as the Bulldogs fell, 60-55, to UTEP on Saturday night inside the Don Haskins Center.

LA Tech (6-5, 0-1 C-USA) committed 20 turnovers while shooting just 4-of-25 from beyond the arc, making a season-low 16 field goals.

Despite the free throw discrepancy in the game with UTEP (7-3, 1-0 C-USA) shooting 37 times from the charity stripe to LA Tech’s 24, the visiting team still gave themselves a chance to win it.

Down 56-46 with 3:14 to play, the ‘Dogs held the Miners without a made field goal for the remainder of the game. The Miners had plenty of issues from the free throw line as well to help LA Tech creep back into it, making just 15 total (sank just three of 14 in the final three-plus minutes).

The Bulldog managed to get within one possession, down three with just 21 seconds remaining, but two made FTs by the Miners iced the game.

LA Tech had the lead for only 1:49 of the entire game when it was an early 4-3 advantage. It was at 14-all with nine minutes remaining in the first half is when UTEP was able to gain some separation, going on a 7-0 run.

Keaston Willis’ second of three triples pulled the Bulldogs to within one with 11:55 remaining in the game, but it was another 7-0 run by the Miners to keep the road team at bay.

Cobe Williams registered a game-high 18 points to go along with five rebounds and a career-tying five steals. Isaiah Crawford nearly registered a double-double with 12 points and nine boards plus four steals of his own. Willis was the third Bulldog in double figures with 11.

UTEP was led by Tae Hardy who finished with 15.


TCU 56, Lady Tigers 45 (Sunday)

The Grambling State University women’s basketball team wrapped up the non-conference portion of its schedule on Sunday afternoon, falling 56-45 to Texas Christian University at Schollmaier Arena.

Colbi Maples paced GSU (1-10) with 18 points on 5-of-13 shooting from the field to go along with six rebounds and one steal. Miracle Saxon also posted a double-figure scoring effort, finishing with 10 points, three rebounds, two assists, one block and one steal.

TCU (5-5) opened the game strong, crafting a 17-6 lead. Phylicia Allen scored a layup with 1:15 left in the quarter to trimming the Horned Frogs’ lead to single-digits heading into the second.

After TCU ballooned its lead to 24-12 with 4:14 left in the half, Maples stroked a 3-pointer to once again keep the deficit under 10. With 2:55 to go, Miracle Saxon knocked down a mid-range jumper, making the score 26-19. The Horned Frogs carried a 33-21 lead into the break.

Grambling State settled down in the second half, outscoring TCU 24-23. TCU built a 19-point lead to start the fourth quarter, its largest of the game, on a 3-pointer by Tara Manumaleuga.

The Lady Tigers then embarked on a 12-2 run capped by a fast break layup by Leah Morrow, cutting TCU’s advantage to 54-45 with 1:24 to go. The Horned Frog tacked on two free throws in the waning moments of the game to secure the 56-45 win.


Virginia Tech 74, Tigers 48 (Saturday)

The Grambling State University men’s basketball led by as many as 10 points midway through the first half on Saturday at Virginia Tech, but suffered a cold-shooting spell toward the end of the half as the Tigers fell to the 24th-ranked Hokies, 74-48, at Cassel Coliseum.

Grambling State (6-4) led 21-11 with 10:49 left in the first half, but the Tigers could not hit a bucket from the floor as Virginia Tech (11-1) used an 18-2 run over the next eight-plus minutes as GSU could not recover.

Carte’are Gordon paced the Tigers with 12 points, on 4-of-8 shooting, with four rebounds and a pair of assists. Cameron Christon added 10 points, six boards, two assists and one steal. Shawndarius Cowart pulled down a team-high seven boards, along with five points and two assists.

Sean Pedulla led Virginia Tech with 21 points, including four 3-pointers, along with six assists, five rebounds and two steals. Hunter Cattoor recorded 13 points, four boards and one assist, while Justyn Mutts tallied 11 points, three rebounds, two assists and two steals.

Grambling State used a small 8-3 run, capped by a Cowart 3-pointer, as there Tigers led 11-6 with 15:55 remaining in the opening half.

GSU pushed the advantage to 16-9 after a Cameron Christon free throw with 13:23 left and stretched the margin to 21-11 on a Gordon trey with just under 11 minutes to play.

The Hokies, on the heels of a 18-2 run, took advantage of Grambling State’s cold shooting spell and grabbed a 29-23 advantage after a 3-pointer by Pedulla with just over three minutes left in the half.

A dunk by Malik Lamin snapped an eight-plus minute cold spell for the Tigers and cut the margin to 29-25 with 2:17 remaining.

However, Virginia Tech scored the final five points of the half as the Hokies took a 34-25 lead into the break.

Grambling State got back-to-back buckets by Christon and Virshon Cotton as the Tigers trailed, 38-29, with 16:46 remaining.

Virginia Tech answered with a 12-2 run, capped by a Grant Basile layup to extend the advantage to 50-31 with 12:38 left.

The Hokies stretched the lead to 63-36 with just over eight minutes remaining as Virginia Tech proved to be too much as Grambling State saw its three-game win streak come to an end.