Strong third quarter fuels LA Tech comeback win over A-State on Education Day
RUSTON, La. – The Louisiana Tech women’s basketball team got off to a 2-0 start in front of nearly three thousand local students for the annual Education Day game with a 59-56 win over Arkansas State Thursday on Karl Malone Court.
Salma Bates tied her career-high with 17 points as Anna Larr Roberson joined Bates in double figures with 10 points and added seven rebounds for LA Tech (2-0).
Arkansas State (0-1) came out firing early, hitting five of their first six shots and using a 7-0 run to build a 16-7 lead with 3:45 to play in quarter No. 1.
Keiunna Walker’s layup with 3:10 remaining in the first stopped a three-minute scoreless streak, and Bates’ strong first quarter, with eight points, cut the lead to 21-16 after one.
The Red Wolves picked up where they left off to start the second quarter putting together a 9-2 run, but the Techsters held ASU to just five points over the final seven minutes and used a mini 6-2 to cut Arkansas State’s lead to 35-28 at the half.
The Techsters found their defensive mentality in the third quarter, forcing Arkansas State to a 1-9 start from the field, and used a 9-0 run over 3:10 to grab their first lead of the day, 39-38, off a Roberson layup.
Tech extended the run to 14-0 on buckets from Robyn Lee and Silvia Nativi to grab a 44-40 lead with 3:19 to play in the third. Tech held on to a three-point lead to end the third (46-43).
LA Tech continued its strong defensive play to build their largest lead of the game, 57-45, thanks to an 11-2 run with 5:15 remaining.
Arkansas State did not go away, using a 10-0 run to cut the lead to 57-55 with 54 seconds remaining but Roberson’s offensive rebound-putback with 21 seconds left extended the lead to four.
The Red Wolves had an opportunity to tie the game in the final five seconds but missed a contested three. Tech was able to run out the final seconds to take the three-point win.
After the hot start, Arkansas State shot 33 percent from their field (19-25) and hit 8-26 from three.
Uncharacteristically, the Lady Techsters were just 8-15 from the free-throw line but shot 44 percent from the field (23-52) and went 5-15 from three.
Head Coach Brooke Stoehr…
“I’m really proud of our effort and response in the third quarter today. You have to give Arkansas State a lot of credit for how they came in and competed. They had a great plan and were ready.
We had an amazing crowd today with all the students and they made a big impact, but it was an adjustment to deal with all the noise. Our communication on defense was not good to start and Arkansas State took advantage of that, but I think we showed what an experienced and mature team we have with the response in the second half. No one panicked, we just talked about what we need to do, and we responded.
What I’m most proud of is how many players we have that are willing to do what it takes and make winning plays, from Keiunna’s charge right after she missed layup, to Anna Larr’s putback at the end, and Gabbie Green pulling down eight boards. It takes all of us.
We obviously have a lot to work on just two games in, but I’m excited about where we are.”
• LA Tech is 39-3 against Arkansas State and 19-1 at home in the all-time series.
• Tech has now started the season 2-0 for the fourth straight year.
• LA Tech now has 595 wins in Ruston in it’s program history.
• Keiunna Walker is now No. 25 on the all-time scoring list, moving past Jane Ellen Cook, with 1,428 career points.
• Salma Bates had her 18th career game in double figures and tied her career-high with 17 points.
• Tech outscored Arkansas State 34-18 in the paint.
• Walker took two charges; she now has 127 for her career.
• Gabbie Green scored her first points in a Techster uniform.
Louisiana Tech will travel to Monroe, La. to face ULM inside Fant-Ewing Coliseum Sunday, Nov. 13 at 2 p.m. The game can be seen on ESPN+ and heard on the LA Tech Sports Network app.
For all the latest in Lady Techsters Basketball, follow them on Twitter (@LATechWBB), Instagram (@LATechWBB), and Facebook (LATechWBB).
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