LA Tech Athletics weekend wrapup

Cobe Williams (photo by Josh McDaniel)

Courtesy of LA Tech Athletic Communications

Lady Techsters 61, UAB 55 (Saturday)

Louisiana Tech, women’s basketball team used a defensive stretch in the fourth quarter holding UAB to just 1-17 shooting and built their largest lead of the game at 12 and held off a furious UAB comeback down the stretch to win on the road 61-55 over the Blazers. 

“I am proud of our team for finding a way to win on the road today,” said Tech head coach Brooke Stoehr. “Our defense was solid in keeping them out of transition and defending the three-point line. UAB shoots it so well from three and spreads you out. It makes it hard to defend. Holding them to 55 today was big for us.”

Tech’s defense held the league-leading Blazers to 21 points below their average and just 28 percent shooting (18-64). Tech shot 39 percent from the floor on 22-57 and hit 15-20 from the line (.750). 

Keiunna Walker produced her fourth straight game with 20-plus tying her season-high with 26 points. Robyn Lee joined Walker in double figures with 12 big points off the bench. 

Neither team could find much rhythm or separation in a defensive-minded first half. However, LA Tech (11-6, 4-3 C-USA) put together a 9-2 run in the second quarter to build their largest lead of the half, 22-16, on three straight baskets by Walker. 

UAB (9-6, 1-5 C-USA) quickly answered with back-to-back threes and cut the lead back to 2. Walker added two free throws, followed by a bucket by Lee inside the final minute to give Tech a 28-23 lead at the half. Tech held UAB to a 1-10 start from the field and just 30 percent for the half (8-27).

In the third, Tech built its lead to eight (36-24), with 6:10 remaining thanks to a 6-0 run, but UAB would not allow the Techsters to pull away. Both teams traded blows the over the remainder of the period, and after back-to-back buckets from Mackenzie Wurm and Lee, Tech took a seven-point advantage heading into the final stanza (46-39).

After Walker picked up her fourth foul early in the fourth, Lotte Sant hit a big three to give Tech a double-digit lead which Lee extended to 12 off a layup (55-43). Tech’s 12-point lead was quickly cut to four due to an 8-0 Blazer run (57-53) with 33 seconds remaining. UAB managed to shave a point off the lead and make it a one-score contest, but three made three throws from Walker helped ice the game. 

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UAB 81, Bulldogs 74 (Saturday)

Louisiana Tech suffered just its second loss at home this season, falling 81-74 to UAB on Saturday afternoon inside the Thomas Assembly Center on Karl Malone Court.

“[The last five minutes] came down to maturity,” said Tech head coach Talvin Hester. “We let them get into our heads a little bit. We lost Isaiah to a double technical after already having four fouls. At the end of the day though, the game came down to offensive rebounding. That is a toughness thing. It was the ones they were getting at the free throw line that really frustrate you as a coach. We have to be tougher and hit bodies.”

LA Tech (10-8, 3-4 C-USA) got a combined 50 points from its backcourt of Cobe Williams and Keaston Willis, but UAB dominated the glass to the tune of 21 offensive rebounds that they cashed in for 30 second-chance points.

“We knew UAB was big and like to bang,” said guard Keaston Willis. “We gave up 21 offensive rebounds and 30 second-chance points. If we eliminate that to even half, we probably come out with a win. It is the little things we have to get better at.”

Williams and Willis had 23 of the team’s 35 first-half points as the Bulldogs held a slim 35-34 advantage at the midway point. 

The lead was short-lived as UAB (13-5, 4-3 C-USA), playing with one of the nation’s best scorers in Jordan Walker, went on a fast 10-0 run to take its largest lead of the game at 44-34. 

LA Tech punched back though, producing an 8-0 run that included a three-pointer and offensive rebound/putback by Quandre Bullock to get to within one.

The two teams traded baskets for the longest time, but it was after the eighth tie of the game at 60-60 that the ‘Dogs began to separate themselves.  It was a four-minute stretch that saw the Bulldogs limit the Blazers to just two points while the home team knocked down six free throws and got a pair of buckets in the paint by Willis and Williams.

LA Tech had its largest lead at 70-62 with 4:46 to go.  However, UAB took advantage of Isaiah Crawford picking up his fifth foul via a technical, and ended the game on a 19-4 run. 

Williams finished with a career-high 27 and Willis had a season-high 23.

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Lady Techsters 6, Wyoming 1 (Saturday)

Tulsa 6, Lady Techsters 1 (Saturday)

Lady Techsters 7, Omaha 0 (Sunday)

The Lady Techsters tennis team got off to a strong start winning two out of three matches this weekend at the Hurricane Invite at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center in Tulsa.

Tech (2-1) defeated Wyoming and Omaha while falling to the host Tulsa Hurricane.

“It was an awesome way to start the season,” said Tech head coach Amanda Stone. “It had been a while since we had our doubles teams together so it was nice to sweep Wyoming there. I think we are going to keep improving in that area as the season goes along. Then, the top of the lineup took care of business in singles.”

Arguably the biggest highlight of the weekend came in the loss to Tulsa with Leonie Schuknecht defeating Tulsa’s Laia Conde Monfort, the reigning AAC Player of the Year ranked as high as No. 91 in the country last season (6-3, 3-6, 7-5).

“I am playing with confidence,” said Scuknecht. “The atmosphere was great today and it is the best feeling being able to compete for me and my team. I have been working to take that next step to beat these top players. This is a very special team with great and competitive players. I am really excited for this year and what is to come.”

LA Tech will be back in action on Saturday, Jan. 21 when they play host to Stephen F. Austin in their 2023 home opener. First serve is set for 10 a.m. at the LA Tech Tennis Complex.


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