RUSTON (Courtsey Tech) - Sophomore guard Kelia Shelton scored a career-high 23 points and Louisiana Tech held McNeese State without a field goal over the final six minutes as the Lady Techsters defeated the Cowgirls 52-50 before 2,205 fans at the Thomas Assembly Center Wednesday night.
McNeese State (4-4) took a 46-41 lead on a layup by Caitlyn Baggett with 5:58 to play, but the LA Tech defense then stiffened, holding the Cowgirls to 0-for-9 shooting the rest of the way as the Lady Techsters (3-5) won for the 18th time in the 23-game series.
Shelton, playing in only her fifth game of the year, hit 9-of-17 field goals, including 3-of7 three-pointers, and connected on 2-of-4 free throws to help LA Tech overcome 26 turnovers in the victory.
The Rock Hill, South Carolina native's three-pointer with 3:20 to play in the game tied the score at 48-48 and then her spinning off-balance layup with less than two minutes to play tied the game again at 50-50.
After neither team could score in their next two possessions, sophomore forward Whitney Frazier hit a pair of free throws with 39 seconds to play to give LA Tech the lead. Following a miss by McNeese State guard Caitlyn Baggett with 23 seconds to play, the Cowgirls were forced to foul, sending freshman Lulu Perry to the free throw line.
However, Perry missed both free throws and McNeese State had three shots in the final five seconds but the Cowgirls couldn't get one to fall as Tech won for the 12th straight time in Ruston against McNeese State.
The Lady Techsters were victorious despite committing 26 turnovers which led to McNeese State outscoring Tech 15-2 in points off of turnovers. Tech shot 39 percent (20-51) from the field while holding McNeese State to only 27 percent (18-66) and while outrebounding the Cowgirls 46-38.
Shelton was Tech's lone double digit scorer, as she netted 15 points following intermission.
Ashlyn Baggett led McNeese State with 22 points but was held to only 9-of-26 shooting on the night. Baggett scored 13 points early as McNeese State took an 18-11 lead with 8:19 to play in the first half following an 11-0 run by the Cowgirls.
Tech answered with a 10-2 run, capped by a three-pointer by Janay Borum at the 4:13 mark as the Lady Techsters retook the lead 21-20. McNeese State led 26-24 at the break in a game that saw nine ties and 12 lead changes.
The Lady Techsters return to action Friday when they host Oral Roberts at 7 p.m. at the Thomas Assembly Center.
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