Nov. 8, 2011
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RUSTON, La. - Senior Whitney Jones scored 14 points while Jasmine Bendolph added 12 and Shantale Bramble-Donaldson 10 as Louisiana Tech defeated Division II power Delta State 61-48 Tuesday night at the Thomas Assembly Center in exhibition action.
The Lady Techsters open the regular season Friday when they host Missouri State at 7 p.m. at the Thomas Assembly Center.
Head coach Teresa Weatherspoon said that although she saw stretches of good basketball against the Statesmen, she didn't see enough consistency.
"My message in the locker room was the momentum you get a team down - a scrappy team that is well coached - you have to put them away, especially at home," Weatherspoon said. "You have to take advantage of that opportunity. They were scrappy; they never gave up. They played the game hard. We fell off at times; didn't execute; didn't attack the rim. We did a lot of things we can correct."
Weatherspoon saw her team use good defensive pressure to pull out to a 13-point lead at 19-6 with 8:07 to play as the Lady Techsters limited Delta State - a team that won 28 games last year and finished ranked in the Top 10 in the country - to only 3-of-16 from the field during that stretch.
However, Delta State fought back and used a 16-2 run over the next seven minutes to take its first and only lead of the game at 22-21 on a jumper by Denesha Henderson with 1:04 to play in the opening half. Bramble-Donaldson's offensive rebound and putback at the buzzer gave Tech a slim 23-22 halftime lead.
Tech hit only 10-of-31 from the field in the opening 20 minutes of play.
"If we could have just finished around the basket," Weatherspoon said. "We missed a lot of shots underneath. It's a must for us that we finish. We didn't do that very well tonight. We've gone through enough practices where those shots can't be missed."
Tech used a 26-6 run to open the second half to push a 23-22 halftime advantage out to 49-28 as Jones, Bendolph and Bramble-Donaldson combined for 23 of the 26 points during the run which covered the first 10 minutes of the second half.
"They really stepped up to the challenge," Weatherspoon said. "I challenged them in the locker room. JB and Whitney did a great job of stepping up and being an offensive threat. They made the defense defend them with the shot, the drive, the penetrating passes. And for the most part, our posts did a better job of getting position and scoring. We executed our sets much better."
Tech's biggest lead of the game came at 56-33 on a Tavasha Anderson jumper with 6:03 to play before the Lady Techsters committed five turnovers and hit only 2-of-10 shots down the stretch.
Anderson added seven points, four rebounds and two blocks while Bramble-Donaldson and Savanna Langston led Tech in rebounding with seven each. Bendolph added five rebounds and a game-high five assists.
Brooke Rhodes led Delta State with 17 points while Veronica Walker added 10.
For the game, Tech shot 38 percent (25-66) from the field, 5-of-13 from the three-point line and 6-of-7 from the free throw line. Delta State hit 33 percent (18-54) from the field, 5-of-10 from beyond the arc and 7-of-9 from the free throw line.
Tech outrebounded Delta State 46-33.