Techsters down Rice behind historic efforts from Roberson, Walker
Techsters Take Down Rice in Historic Fashion
RUSTON, La. – Louisiana Tech outlasted Rice in a double-overtime thriller Thursday night inside the Thomas Assembly Center (90-80) behind two historic performances from Anna Larr Roberson and Keiunna Walker to gain some vital ground in the C-USA West standings.
Roberson poured in 44 points on 20-28 shooting to go along with nine rebounds. She is the 13th player in program history to score 40 or more points in a single game and the first to do it since Keirra Anthony in 2019.
Her 44 points is the fifth most points ever scored in a single game for the Techsters and her 20 made field goals is tied for the most in program history with Belinda Jones who did it back in 1975-75.
To pair with Roberson’s performance, Walker turned in only the fourth triple-double in the Techsters’ history with 27 points, 15 rebounds, and 10 assists to go along with five steals while also drawing five charges.
The recently named LSWA Player of the Week has now scored in double figures 27 straight games and is the only player in conference USA to do so in every game this season.
Walker’s 27 points also moved her past both Erica Smith-Taylor and Tasha Williams to place her No. 31 on the all-time scoring list with 1,261 points.
In a game that sat at just 3-2 five minutes into the contest, there could not have been much chance the fans inside the TAC expected to see the wild, crazy, and historic finish that ended with 170 points on 147 shots and saw 92 rebounds combined between the two teams.
Both teams slowly began to heat up over the course of the second and third quarters as Tech worked to build their largest lead of the game with 5:49 left to play in the third quarter (44-34).
Rice’s Ashlee Austin then caught fire scoring 14 straight points of her team-high 27 to close the gap to just three entering the fourth (54-51).
With Tech clinging to that three-point lead later in the fourth, the Owls went on a 9-0 run over a minute-and-a-half to take a 58-52 lead with just three minutes remaining, but eight points from Roberson, including the game-tying basket with 42 seconds remaining, would help send the game into overtime.
In the first extra period, teams traded the lead five times including Tech taking a 78-76 lead off two Walker free-throws. With just 10 seconds remaining, Rice had an inbounds opportunity near their bench when Roberson was called for a delay of game technical foul that gave the Owls two free-throws and the ball.
Austin connected on both attempts, but Rice was unable to score on the next possession which sent the game into a second overtime.
Rice would regain the lead one more time off two more free-throws to start the period, but the combination of Roberson and Walker would score the final 12 points of the game. The clutch baskets mixed with timely defensive stops sealed the 90-80 double OT victory and move the Techsters only a half-game back of the division lead behind Southern Miss and North Texas.
• LA Tech regained the all-time series over Rice 16-15 and is 11-3 in games played in Ruston. The Techsters split the season series and snap a seven-game skid to the Owls.
• Tonight marked the fifth overtime game in the series (Rice leads 3-2) and first double overtime game in series history between the two programs in their 31 meetings.
• This was Tech’s first double overtime game since beating Denver (82-77) back in 2013-14.
• Anna Larr Roberson’s 44 points is the fifth most all-time in Techsters’ history for single game scoring. It is also tied for the sixth most points scored in an NCAA game this season.
• She is the 13th player in Techsters’ history to score 40 or more points and the first to do it since Keirra Anthony during the 2019-20 season.
• Her 44 points is also the fourth highest point total in a conference USA league game in C-USA history.
• Her 20 made field goals ties her for the most ever in a single game with Belinda Jones during the 1974-75 season.
• Roberson has now scored in double figures 19 straight games.
• Keiunna Walker joined Tasha Williams, Shantel Hardison, and Angela Turner as only the fourth player in program history to post a triple double. It is the first since Williams back in 2006.
• She finished with 27 points, 15 rebounds, and 10 assists. The points and rebounds are both the highest marks recorded in a triple-double in program history.
• Her 15 rebounds and 11 assists are both career-highs and this is the ninth time this season Walker has scored 20 or more points, including three of the last four games.
• Walker has now scored in double-figures in 27 straight games and is the only player in conference USA to do so in every game this season.
• Walker also had five steals and drew four charges on the night.
• Roberson and Walker are the first pair of division-one teammates in 20 seasons to have 40 points and a 20-point triple-double in the same game.
• Tech’s defense forced 29 turnovers tonight which is the ninth time this season they have forced 20 or more.
• Lotte Sant tied her season-high with nine points while adding five rebounds.
The Lady Techsters are right back in action Saturday, Feb. 26 to take on North Texas at 6:00 p.m. inside the Thomas Assembly Center.
The game will be a battle for first place in conference USA’s West Division.
For all the latest in Lady Techsters Basketball, follow them on Twitter (@LATechWBB), Instagram (@LATechWBB) and Facebook.com/LATechWBB.
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