Contributed by: LA Tech Athletic Communications
RUSTON – The second winningest program in the history of women’s basketball hit another milestone Friday night as Louisiana Tech recorded its 1100th victory with a dominate 87-50 win over Alcorn State at the Thomas Assembly Center.
Not only was the victory the 1,100 in the program’s history, but it was the fifth straight win for a LA Tech (9-4) team that will open Conference USA play Wednesday at home against North Texas.
“I talked to our team before we started practice yesterday and then again at shoot around today about how special what they are a part of is,” said Tech head coach Brooke Stoehr. “It’s so much bigger than all of us. I just told them when I think about (this program), I think about Dr. F. Jay Taylor, Ms (Sonja) Hogg, Coach (Leon) Barmore and all the players I grew up watching and the people I was fortunate to play with and now able to coach with.
“This group has only been a part of nine of those 1,100 but they are a part of something so much greater than each one of us. We should never forget how special that is and how important that is and to go out every day and try to honor that.”
And honor it they did.
Tech scored the first 12 points of the game, dominated on both ends of the floor and held a 28-6 advantage after the opening quarter of play. The Lady Techsters hit 11-of-18 field goals and held Alcorn State (4-7) to just 3-of-12 shooting in the first 10 minutes of action.
The second quarter was much of the same.
Tech shot 8-of-13 from the field, hit all eight of its free throws and limited the Lady Braves to just 5-of-15 shooting. Alcorn State didn’t reach double digits until a Cloe Lane three-pointer with 5:03 to play in the second quarter made the score 41-11.
“We knew (Alexus) Freeman and (Tia) Sanders were going to take the majority of their shots, and we had to do a good job on them,” said Stoehr. “I thought we were very attentive in terms of guarding with five today. I thought we turned them over a lot early and we were able to translate that into points for us and that really got us going.
“I thought we shot the ball well. They started out in that zone and we hit a few three’s and got them out of that. I’m really proud of our effort and energy from a concentration standpoint. I thought we really got off to a good start.”
Tech shot 61 percent from the field in the first half, forced 16 turnovers that led to 24 points and outrebounded Alcorn State 23-9. The Techsters also dominated in the paint to a tune of 24-7 in the first two quarters of play.
The Lady Techsters recorded 17 assists on 19 first half field goals, led by a career-high eight from sophomore Kierra Lang.
“I was just proud she finally took a shot,” joked Stoehr. “We are on her all the time about being a threat offensively because she is such a good teammate in terms of getting us into offense and getting the ball where it needs to be. Eight assists and only two turnovers. She was very solid and got us what we needed.”
The third quarter started slow for Tech as the Techsters committed turnovers on three of its first four possessions before settling down and outscoring Alcorn State 20-12. Tech held a 74-31 lead through three quarters of play before Stoehr gave her bench the majority of minutes in the final quarter of action.
Tech saw five players score in double figures and 12 of the 13 that played scored. Kierra Anthony and Zhanae Whitney each scored 14 points while Whitney added a game-high 10 rebounds for her first double double of the season. Anna McLeod added 11 points and Taylor Stahly and Reauna Cleaver each scored 10 points.
Anthony added four assists and game-high five steals. Tech recorded 16 steals on the night. For the game, Tech shot 50 percent (32-64) from the field and 18-of-22 from the free throw line while limiting Alcorn State to just 31 percent (16-51) from the field. The Lady Techsters outrebounded the Lady Braves 49-27, including 14 offensive rebounds.
Defensively, Tech held Freeman to seven points on 1-of-6 from the field and Sanders to 10 points on 3-of-13 from the field. Lane led Alcorn State with 24 points.
Tech will open Conference USA play Wednesday when it hosts North Texas at 6:30 p.m. at the Thomas Assembly Center.