Dec. 28, 2017
RUSTON ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢'Â¬" Louisiana Tech will be in search of a milestone win Friday night when the Lady Techsters host Alcorn State to close out the non-conference portion of the schedule.
Tipoff at the Thomas Assembly Center is 6:30 p.m. Tech (8-4) and Alcorn State (4-6) meet for the ninth time in the series history with the Lady Techsters holding an 8-0 lead, including a mark of 6-0 in Ruston.
Tech fans can listen to the game through the LA Tech Sports Network on KNBB 97.7 FM, KTKC 92.9 FM and KJVC 92.7 FM with the pregame show starting at 6 p.m. Fans can also access the audio through the Louisiana Tech X mobile app. Fans wishing to watch a live video stream of the game can do so through a paid subscription to CUSATV.com.
Head coach Brooke Stoehr and Co. enter the game on a four-game winning streak and have a chance to claim the program's 1100th win with a victory against the Braves. Tech ranks No. 2 in the history of women's basketball (trailing only Tennessee) with 1,099 wins (UConn is third at 1,092).
LA Tech also has an opportunity to win its ninth non-conference game of the season, something no Lady Techster team has done since the 2000-01 campaign.
Following its 85-62 win over Houston Baptist on Dec. 21, the Techsters were given time off for Christmas break before returning to Ruston Tuesday evening to begin preparations for Alcorn State.
"As a coach I felt like we went into break on positive note," said Stoehr. "We were all excited about getting to spend some time with our families. I thought they came back with good energy in practice. We were able to get them up and down the floor and get some cobwebs out; get back into the flow. We were able to work on correcting some defensive things and start preparing for Alcorn."
Senior Alexus Malone (13.7 ppg, 8.2 rpg) leads Louisiana Tech in the post while juniors Kierra Anthony (13.1 ppg, 12-38 three-pointers) and Taylor Stahly (10.1 ppg, 31-73 three-pointers) are Tech's top offensive threats on the perimeter. Junior Zhanae Whitney has stepped up during the absence of Reauna Cleaver (knee), averaging 13.5 points per game during the past two contests.
Tech is 6-1 at home this season with its lone loss coming to Clemson on Dec. 4. Stoehr knows that the contest against Alcorn State is important for multiple reasons.
"You always want to protect your home court," said Stoehr. "This is a chance to get to nine wins in non-conference play and that would be big for this group. We want to get better. What does that look like? We need to take care of the ball and be better in our half-court defense. We have had really good energy in the full court press. We have really flown around, but we haven't always been in the correct position. We need to correct that heading into conference play where we will face some times that won't turn it over as easily."
Alcorn State has posted wins this year over Southeastern Louisiana, Lemoyne-Owen, Blue Mountain College and Tougaloo College. Their losses have come against Central Arkansas, Southern Miss, Stephen F. Austin (in OT), Oral Roberts, Wichita State and UL-Lafayette.
"They have two guards who can really score the basketball," said Stoehr. "They like to play at a fast pace so the full-court press might not be as effective as it has been the last few games. This will be a good transition into C-USA play for us and a challenge."
Tia Sanders (17.1 ppg, 25-59 three-pointers) and Alexus Freeman (15.3 ppg, 50 assists) lead the Braves offensively as the duo have combined to take almost 50 percent of the shots for Alcorn State this year.
Tech opens C-USA action at home with match-ups against North Texas (Jan. 3) and UTSA (Jan. 5) before finally hitting the road for the first time in over a month when the Lady Techsters travel to Southern Miss (Jan. 11).