LA Athletics weekend roundup

Isaiah Crawford ignited LA Tech down in the stretch in the Bulldogs 66-55 win at UTSA Saturday.

Courtesy of LA Tech Athletic Communications

Bulldogs 66, UTSA 55

The duo Isaiah Crawford and Cobe Williams accounted for over half of Louisiana Tech’s scoring on Saturday, combining for 37 points to help lead the Bulldogs to a 66-55 victory over UTSA inside the Convocation Center.

Not only did the tandem do the bulk of the scoring, they also combined for 13 rebounds, seven assists, and three steals as LA Tech (12-10, 5-6 C-USA) snapped its two-game losing streak and picked up its first road win since Jan. 5.

Neither team could put the ball through the hoop in the early going, combining for 18 straight misses and the score being stuck on 5-4 for almost six minutes.

“Shots were not falling early, and that is why you want to carry your defense everywhere you go,” said head coach Talvin Hester.

“We weathered the storm until we got better offensively.  I thought we got a big jolt off the bench from Kaleb Stewart.  He pushed the tempo for us, which got us playing a little faster.  I thought our small-ball lineup gave us the separation we needed.  We played well as a team.”

The offense slowly started to kick in for both teams.  First it was UTSA (7-16, 1-11 C-USA) who built a 14-10 advantage with 5:54 to go in the first half.  It was the ‘Dogs turn after that, making their largest scoring run of the contest with 10 straight points, including back-to-back three-pointers by Crawford and Williams.

The advantage ended up being 25-18 at halftime and was pushed to a 32-20 lead at the 17:32 mark of the second half, but Crawford picked up his fourth foul.  Then came the Roadrunners.

UTSA had its best scoring run, 7-0, to get back to within two possessions.  But, keeping the home team at bay was Kaleb Stewart who scored seven of his nine points during a 6-minute stretch to push the lead back to double digits at 46-36.

The Roadrunners would not go away, heating up from beyond the arc with back-to-back triples Isaiah Abdo-Ankrah and Christian Tucker to get to cut their deficit to four at 48-44 with 7:46 left.

After a timeout by head coach Talvin Hester, Crawford checked back in and took control.  He scored nine of the team’s 11 points and assisted on the other score with an alley-oop pass to Williams to put the contest away.

“When Isaiah has been good, we have been great,” said Hester. “That is the story of our season in some ways. When he is locked in and stays out of foul trouble, he becomes great, especially late in games. He is as good as they come.”

The Bulldogs host Rice Thursday at 6 p.m.


UTSA 66, Lady Techsters 63

Louisiana Tech women’s basketball team fell to UTSA 66-63 at home Saturday afternoon despite a game-high 22 points from Keiunna Walker, who moved from No. 14 to No. 11 on the all-time scoring list. 

“I didn’t think we started the game well defensively and traded baskets for the longest time,” said head coach Brooke Stoehr. “They are a team that was hungry for a win, and we let them gain a lot of confidence in that first half. We still only give up 66, but the scoring drought in the fourth quarter is what did us in. It is tough to swallow, but you have to give UTSA credit.”

It was a hot start for both teams in the TAC, with both squads combining 18-32 from the floor in the first, including seven threes (7-13). UTSA built a 15-10 lead over the first four minutes, but a 14-5 finish gave the Techsters a four-point lead after one, 24-20.

LA Tech (12-8, 5-5 C-USA) was able to build a little breathing room (29-22) in the first minute of the second, but an 8-2 burst from UTSA (4-15, 2-8 C-USA) cut the lead to one. Tech was able to add one to the lead at the half over the final five minutes of the half to take a two-point edge into the break (36-34). 

Both teams cooled off in a back-and-forth third quarter where no team could make much of a run, but Tech could slightly extend the lead to three heading into the final stanza (53-48). 

Amaya Brannon extended Tech’s lead to seven, but UTSA quickly erased the lead with a 7-0 run over the next 90 seconds to even things with seven minutes to play.

UTSA grabbed their first lead since the first quarter off a Jordyn Jenkins jumper which began a 9-0 run over the next five minutes to build a six-point lead with just 1:17 to play.

Walker’s and-one with 42 seconds remaining cut the game to one possession, followed by a stop and two more Walker free throws to bring the game to one, but a UTSA layup pushed the lead back to three. Tech would get one final opportunity with a look from three to tie, but Walker’s attempt was wide left.

The Lady Techsters travel to Rice Thursday.


Track and Field

The Louisiana Tech men’s and women’s Track & Field team competed against the nation’s best over two days in Lubbock, Texas, at Texas Tech Open over Friday and Saturday, posting five more PRs bringing their total to 33 for the indoor season through the first three meets.

“I am extremely proud of this group we are definitely getting better and gain experience for what it takes to become dominant in the conference and on a national level,” said Director of Track and Field Brian Johnson. “We have a couple of weeks to get better and stay healthy for conference which is coming up soon.”

Rodney Heath Jr. continues to shine in the sprints, reaching the podium in the 60m, taking third place with a run of 6.67. Heath also tied the LA Tech 60m indoor program record with a PR of 6.64, which ranks top-25 in the NCAA this season. Heath’s 6.67 is also the second fastest time in program history.

In the women’s 60m, Ulanda Lewis posted back-to-back PRs of 7.49 in the qualifying round and first-rounds final. Urijah Williams reached the first-round final with a PR of 8.04, the third fastest time of the qualifying round in the men’s 60m H.

In the men’s 400m, freshman Laeden Tucker posted a personal best of 48.98, which placed him in the top third of the field. Mateo Smith added a PR of 6.82 in the men’s 60m qualifier.

LA Tech posted a top-10 finish with Jiana Stewartburgess (T-10th) in the women’s high jump, registering a leap of 1.65m (5′ 5”).