Houston downs Lady Techsters, 67-53

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HOUSTON, Texas – A five-minute scoreless drought by Louisiana Tech to end the second quarter changed the complexion of the game Sunday as the Lady Techsters fell 67-53 to Houston at the Fertitta Center.

Tech (5-3) led 24-21 on back-to-back three-pointers by Raizel Guinto and Amber Dixon, but the Lady Techsters failed to score for the final 5:21 of the quarter while Houston (5-5) used a 12-0 run highlighted by back-to-back three-pointers by Bria Patterson to grab a 33-24 halftime advantage.

“We didn’t score after that last media timeout,” said Tech head coach Brooke Stoehr. “We had three straight possessions where we turned it over and just didn’t execute offensively. Credit Houston. They have some length and they got after us a little bit. I thought it was in critical moments when we needed to execute that we would have one person out of possession offensively not doing the right thing. You can’t do that on the road.”

The Cougars pushed the advantage out to 37-25 early in the third quarter before Tech made a run, using a pair of free throws by Amber Dixon and paint buckets by Daria McCutcheon and Grayson Bright to trigger a mini 6-0 run.

“Daria got some hands on loose balls,” said Stoehr. “That’s a senior that might not necessarily be a big offensive player for us but she nailed the switches which created some turnovers for us that led to transition. She got to the free throw line. She did some simple things and played without turning the ball over. That’s what we got to have.

“I thought the foul trouble in the first quarter took us out of our rotation. MeMe (Amand) and Grayson sit the whole second quarter. We went to the zone and couldn’t get going offensively.”

Tech remained within striking distance the entire second half, as the lead fluctuated between four and nine for Houston. A Guinto three-pointer with 4:15 to play in the third quarter cut the deficit to 41-37 and Dixon jumper with 8:37 to play in the fourth made it 47-43.

However, Houston used 15 offensive rebounds to score 15 points and added 22 more points off of 18 Tech turnovers to pull away for the win.

“We weren’t very good defensively and we still only gave up 67 on the road,” said Stoehr. “We should be able to win but we just couldn’t’ score today. We had 18 turnovers. I thought our kids battled. We cut it to four, we cut it to five and then we would give up an offensive rebound put back or they would hit a three. We have to be tougher on the road.”

Tech shot just 38 percent (18-47) from the field and connected on just 7-of-22 three-pointers in the loss while Houston shot 48 percent (25-52) from the field, including 12-of-23 in the second half.

“Defensively, I thought we guarded our scout this week as well as we could,” said Stoehr. “And we have some guys who can really drive it on us. Today we had a number of players that missed switches all day today. Honestly, it took some people off the floor that would normally have out there that give us another offensive threat. But we couldn’t get the switches down.”

Guinto led Tech with 14 points and four assists while Dixon added 13 points and two steals.

The Lady Techsters return to action Friday when they host Southeastern Louisiana at 6:30 p.m. at the Thomas Assembly Center.

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