Turnovers Too Much for Lady Techsters To Overcome

Contributed by: LA Tech Athletic Communications

RUSTON - Tashia Brown scored 26 points and league leader WKU forced 25 turnovers in downing Louisiana Tech 74-64 before 2,134 fans at the Thomas Assembly Center Sunday afternoon.

Head coach Brooke Stoehr's team saw some major strides from a number of individuals in the loss, but the inability to take care of the basketball as a team ultimately spoiled the Lady Techsters chance of upsetting the Conference USA leader.

"Turnovers were the story of the game," said Stoehr. "We shot the ball well when we got shots off, but you can't turn it over 25 times against any team, much less a team like Western Kentucky and expect to win. We weren't strong enough with the ball at times. You can't give Tashia Brown extra opportunities to score on the offensive end and that was our big downfall today."

Trailing 50-34 following a three-pointer by three-pointer by Sidnee Bopp with 6:15 to play in the third quarter, Louisiana Tech (13-8, 4-4 C-USA) mounted a furious rally. A jumper by Kierra Anthony with 9:12 to play in the fourth quarter saw Tech use a 19-6 run and close the gap to 56-53.

During the seven minute stretch, Tech committed only one turnover and outrebounded the Lady Toppers (16-5, 7-1 C-USA) 12-5.

"We didn't turn the ball over (during that stretch)," said Stoehr. "We got shots. When you get shots and you don't turn the ball over, it gives you a chance to score. I thought we did that in the third quarter and we got ourselves back in the game. We got it to a one possession game, and they had a senior who made a couple of plays down the stretch. That's what big time players do."

Brown responded leading WKU on an 8-0 run over the next three-plus minutes to push the lead back out to double digits at 64-53. A three-pointer by Tech guard Taylor Stahly stopped the run briefly. However, a Bopp 30-foot three-point bank shot with 3:44 to play pushed the WKU advantage back to 69-58 as Tech would get no closer than eight points the rest of the way.

Anthony and Kierra Lang proved to be a couple of bright spots for Tech, which also outrebounded a much taller WKU squad 39-30. Anthony scored 18 points and hit a pair of three-pointers while Lang added a season-high 11 points as she connected on all three of her three-point field goal attempts.

Tech also shot 47 percent (26-55) from the field, including 8-of-14 from the three-point line. Stahly connected on three more three-pointers as the junior guard extended her consecutive game streak to 21.

"This is about us getting better and setting ourselves up for March," said Stoehr. "That's what we have to have. We have to have balance, and we have to have some people that can knock down shots and be aggressive and be who they are. It's what we have talked about the last couple of weeks. You have to get in the gym and put the work in and you will start to see the results. But you also have to have the belief that you have to attack and you can't be passive. If someone wants to defend you five feet off then you have to make them pay. If we can do that we become a lot more difficult to guard because it gives our big space inside to work."

Tech took an early 7-1 lead before turnovers began plaguing the Lady Techsters. WKU forced 14 first half turnovers that led to 20 points by the Lady Toppers. For the game, WKU scored 28 points off of the Tech miscues.

Reauna Cleaver added 10 points and five rebounds while Alexus Malone chipped in with seven points and a game-high 12 rebounds.

Tech saw its seven game home winning streak snapped and suffered its first league home loss since falling to Middle Tennessee exactly one year ago today.

The Lady Techsters return to action Thursday when they travel to Murfreesboro to face Middle Tennessee. 


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