Feb. 26, 2011
LOGAN, Utah - Adrienne Johnson scored 25 points and grabbed 16 rebounds and Tarkeisha Wysinger-Mackey came off the bench to score 18 points to lead Louisiana Tech to a 78-70 win over Utah State Saturday afternoon before 891 fans at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
With the victory, Tech improved to 21-5 on the year, 13-0 in Western Athletic Conference play while Utah State fell to 15-12, 9-5 in conference action. While recording the 997th win in its program's history, Tech maintained its two-game lead in the Western Athletic Conference race over Fresno State.
Teresa Weatherspoon's team - which won for the 14th straight time - struggled early in the game. After Martina Holloway hit a three-pointer at the 15:59 mark of the opening half gave the Lady Techsters an 8-6 lead, Utah State used a 9-2 run capped by a Chelsea Burns trifecta to grab a 17-10 advantage.
Late in the Aggies run, Weatherspoon inserted Wysinger-Mackey, who failed to start for the first time this season, into the lineup and the senior guard provided an instant spark.
Over the next four minutes, Wysinger-Mackey scored six points, grabbed three rebounds, recorded one steal and one assist as the Lady Techsters outscored the Aggies 12-2.
"It's called holding yourself accountable," Weatherspoon said. "She didn't let not starting affect the energy she brought once got into the game. She provides so many different things to our team, on both ends of the floor. Tonight she was huge again for us."
Wysinger-Mackey's energy also seemed to spark Johnson, who was scoreless through the first eight plus minutes of the game before a layup at the 11:35 ignited the All-American candidate. Johnson ended the half with 10 points and 10 rebounds to tie Wysinger-Mackey for scoring honors at the half.
An Alice Coddington three-pointer with 39 seconds to play in the first half gave the Aggies a 36-35 halftime advantage and ended a half that saw five ties and six lead changes.
"We allowed their pressure defensive to make us play too fast in the first half," Weatherspoon said. "A lot of our turnovers were because of that. We simply needed to settle down and do a good job of taking care of the basketball, getting it to the middle of the floor and attacking."
The two teams stayed close early in the second half as Utah State actually built a 47-43 lead on a layup by Devin Christensen at the 14:38 mark. However, a Wysinger-Mackey layup and a three-pointer by Holloway gave Tech the advantage - a lead it would not relinquish.
"I thought Martina hit some big three's for us in the second half," Weatherspoon said of the senior guard who finished with 11 points, including a trio of three-pointers. "She's done that for us this year. She's a good shooter and she hit some big ones tonight."
Tech led 51-50 when Johnson took over, scoring seven straight points in a 10-1 run as the Lady Techsters took their biggest lead of the game at 61-51 with 9:45 to play.
The Aggies, who entered the game having won seven of their last eight, got no closer than four points at 71-67 with 1:33 to play before Tech hit 7-of-8 free throws to seal the win.
For the game, Tech shot 43 percent (27-63) from the field, 5-of-17 from the three-point line and 19-of-26 from the free throw line. Utah State shot 36 percent (26-71) from the field, 7-of-22 from the three-point line and 11-of-16 from the charity stripe.
Tech outrebounded the Aggies 50-40.
Ashlee Brown led Utah State with 16 points and 12 rebounds while Banna Diop added 10 points and 11 boards and Christensen scored 15.
The Lady Techsters return to action Monday night when the Lady Techsters travel to Reno to face Nevada at 10 p.m. CT in a game that will be nationally televised on ESPNU.