Jan. 29, 2013
LITTLE ROCK - Louisiana Tech will step out of league play Wednesday night when the Lady Techsters travel north to face Sun Belt Conference foe UALR at 7 p.m. at the Jack Stephens Center.
LA Tech (9-10, 5-4 WAC) is coming off a heart-breaking 76-75 overtime loss to Utah State Saturday night in Ruston three of the Lady Techsters last four losses have come by four points or less, with two of them being one-point defeats on last second shots.
UALR (13-7, 6-6 Sun Belt) recorded a nine-game winning streak early in the season, but has lost six of its last night games with three of those losses coming by three points or less. The Trojans do enter the game with a modest two-game winning streak after defeating Florida Atlantic and North Texas in their last two outings.
The Trojans do boast one of the top defensive teams in the country as they are ranked No. 5 nationally in field goal percentage defense (.325), 11th in blocked shots (5.5 bpg) and 47th in the country in scoring defense (55.1 ppg).
"Normally as coach you will give your team a star if they keep the opponent to 35 percent," said Tech head coach Teresa Weatherspoon. "UALR is under that for the year. They do great things defensively. Offensive execution is a must for us. We have to protect the basketball. UALR takes you out of what you want to do and when they are able to do that, it makes it very tough. We want to execute and stay in our comfort zone."
UALR is 7-4 at the Jack Stephens Center this season, historically an extremely difficult place to play for opposing teams.
"That is why our focus and concentration must be there," Weatherspoon said. "Where ever you are, be all there. We all need to stay focused on our mission. We are getting better; we are gaining chemistry and we are gaining it at the right time. We are stepping out of conference to play a very good team. It will be a challenge on their floor."
Offensively, UALR boasts only one player in double figures in guard Taylor Gault, who is averaging 15.7 points per game. Teammates Janette Merriex (9.1 ppg, 33 three-pointers) and Taylor Ford (8.5 ppg, 5.0 rpg) are the Trojans other two main offensive threats.
The Lady Techsters continue to be led by their big four as Kelia Shelton (12.8 ppg, 6.4 rpg), Brittany Lewis (11.6 ppg, 6.5 rpg), Whitney Frazier (10.4 ppg, 6.0 rpg) and Lulu Perry (8.8 ppg) have been the most consistent offensive threats. After being held scoreless in Tech's road loss at Seattle, Perry averaged 18.5 points per game in the Lady Techsters two home games this past week.
LA Tech leads the all-time series against UALR 7-2, although the Trojans have won the last two meetings in Little Rock.
The contest can be heard on the LA Tech Sports Network with the pregame show beginning at 6:30 p.m. A live audio feed can also be accessed through a subscription to LA Tech All-Access at www.LATechSports.com. Fans can also receive Twitter updates by following @LATechWBB.