Hot-shooting Vandy downs Techsters in overtime

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RUSTON, La. – The Louisiana Tech women’s basketball team fell in overtime to Vanderbilt Thursday night in Ruston, 75-70, despite a season-high 23 points from Anna Larr Roberson and 18 points from Keiunna Walker.

In a game that would feature nine lead changes, and six ties, LA Tech (6-3) jumped out to an early 7-2 lead, but Vanderbilt (7-5) responded with a 7-2 run of their own to close the quarter to take a 14-13 lead after one.

In the second, Gabbie Green caught fire, hitting two threes to give Tech a 22-21 lead with 3:52 left in the first half fueling a 9-2 over four minutes before Vanderbilt closed their final possession with one of their 12 threes on the night. Tech took a two-point lead into the break, 28-26.

A quick 7-0 run by the Techsters, followed by back-to-back threes from Green and Lotte Sant, built Tech’s largest lead at 12, 47-35 with 2:46 remaining in the third stanza. The Commodores shaved five off the lead in the final two minutes to make it a seven point game, 49-42, with 10 minutes remaining.

Vanderbilt extended their run to 13-2 into the fourth quarter on a Marnelle Garraud three to cut Tech’s lead to just one point, 51-50, with six minutes remaining. Garraud had a game-high 31 points on 7-13 shooting from three.

Vanderbilt’s Ryanne Allen followed Garraud’s lead and hit her first three of the night to put the Commodores on top for the first time in the ball game with a 1:23 left (57-56). After four Techster free throws and another three from Garraud, the game was sent into an extra period tied at 60.

Tech controlled the overtime tip and grabbed two, two-point leads on layups from Roberson and Walker, but Vanderbilt’s Allen connected on back-to-back-to-back threes from the top of the key to give the Commodores the lead, 71-68, with with 28 seconds let.

Vanderbilt would out-shoot Tech from the line 4-2 in the final possessions to take the 75-70 win, snapping the Techters’ 18-game regular-season non-conference home winning streak.

Tech and Vanderbilt shot 42.9 percent from the floor in the game, but a slight Vandy edge from three (.429-.385) and the free throw line (.818-.739) proved the difference.

Gabbie Green contribured nine points and eight rebounds off the bench, while Silvia Nativi had another good all-around game with five points, five rebounds, seven assists, and two steals. Salma Bates added six points, six assists, a steal and a block.

QUOTABLES
Head Coach Brooke Stoehr…
“I thought we were ready to go. We’ve been locked in the last couple days preparing for this one, and we defended really well early in the game, but we ended up giving too much space to good shooters late and we let one get away.

We had a great crowd, and we appreciate everyone coming out. This will be one at the end of the year we are going to want back. We just didn’t have enough defensive pressure in the second half. Bottom line, it was a chance to win a game on our home court over an SEC opponent and we weren’t able to do that, and that’s disappointing.

We aren’t there yet, we need more toughness, but we can’t put our heads down. We will continue to get better and build for that right moment.”

NOTABLES
• Vanderbilt now leads the all-time series 2-1 and ties the series in Ruston, 1-1.
• LA Tech is now 26-22 all-time in overtime games and falls to 6-8 in OT games at home.
• Tech has played in at least one overtime game in each of the last 14 seasons.
• Anna Larr Roberson’s team and season-high 23 points moved her passed LaQuan Stallworth and Danielle Whitehurst for No. 40 on the all-time scoring list.
• Roberson’s 10 made field goals is a new team, season-high in 2022-23.
• Silvia Nativi tied her career-high with seven assists.
• Salma Bates tied a season-high with six assists.
• Gabbie Green tied her season-high with eight rebounds.
• Tech has scored 70 or more points in four of their last five games.

UP NEXT
Louisiana Tech will host South Alabama for their final non-conference matchup of the season inside the Thomas Assembly Center on Monday, Dec. 12 at 6 p.m. The game can be seen on CUSA.tv. and can be heard on the LA Tech Athletics App.

SOCIAL MEDIA
For all the latest in Lady Techsters Basketball, follow them on Twitter (@LATechWBB), Instagram (@LATechWBB), and Facebook (LATechWBB).

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