RUSTON – Louisiana Tech opens its season in less than three weeks and head coach Brooke Stoehr
knows she will lean heavily on her top two returning scorers who are amongst a talented group of shooting guards on this year's Lady Techster team.
"This group has grown together in the time we've had them, and we'll need them to play a major role for the team to be successful," said Stoehr. "I'm excited about the options we have and the different lineups we can explore offensively with this group."
Seniors Kierra Anthony
and Taylor Stahly
form a dangerous perimeter combination that torched LA Tech opponents last year. Anthony, a four-year starter, is a two-time second team all-conference selection and was recently named to the eight-person preseason all-CUSA team as voted on by the league coaches.
She averaged 14.0 points, 3.7 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 2.2 steals last year for the Lady Techsters while starting 28 games. The New Iberia, La., native scored a career-high 30 points in a road win at Rice on her way to registering 24 double digit scoring games for Tech. She also became the 42nd
member of the 1,000-point club in program history.
Stahly quickly became one of the most prolific three-point shooters in the conference during her inaugural season in a Lady Techster uniform after signing out of Hutchinson Community College. She averaged 10.9 points per contest during the season, while connecting on 42 percent of her three-point shots (85-202).
The Newton, Kansas, native fell just one three-pointer shy of the single season program record and was the only C-USA player to hit at least one three-pointer in every game. She scored in double figures 18 points, including a season-high 21 against Southern Miss.
"I am excited about the experience and growth of this group," said Stoehr. "We have had tremendous leadership from our seniors, Kierra and Taylor, during summer and fall workouts. They know what we expect and have been very consistent in their approach. They are both established players in the league and are poised to have great senior seasons."
is another returner in this group while Tech also added two newcomers in freshman Keiunna Walker
and Texas Tech transfer Grayson Bright
. While Stoehr said Tech is awaiting a final verdict on an appeal for Bright to be eligible this season – a decision that should be coming in the next week – all three are expected to see important minutes this year.
McCutcheon has been more of a defensive specialist her first two years in Ruston. The Plano, Texas, native has averaged has averaged just 1.9 points per game in 59 career college appearances but has proven to be a vital defensive stopper for the Lady Techsters. Stoehr said she has seen McCutcheon spend a lot of time during the offseason working on the offensive aspect of her game.
"Daria has been solid during fall workouts and practice, and we're looking for that consistency to carry that over into the season," said Stoehr. "She has spent time working on the offensive side of her game, and we need her to be able to have an impact on that side of the ball."
Walker signed with the Lady Techsters out of Lonoke High School in Arkansas where she was a two-time all-state and three-time all-conference selection for the Jackrabbits while scoring more than 2,000 career points. The 5-foot-6-inch guard possesses tremendous speed and the ability to knock down the perimeter shot.
"Walker brings a scoring mentality to this group," said Stoehr. "She has the ability to get by defenders off the dribble and spot up for the 3 point shot. She has a really good energy about her and has added speed and quickness to the perimeter for us."
Bright is a taller guard, standing 5-foot-10-inches. She spent her first two collegiate seasons at Texas Tech, starting 25 games and appearing in a total of 58 for the Red Raiders. She was ranked as the 73rd
best guard nationally in 2016 coming out of Fossil Ridge High School in Fort Worth.
"Grayson has been a very nice addition to this group," said Stoehr. "She brings size and versatility to the team and will have the ability to play multiple positions for us. Grayson has the ability to attack the basket and score in and around the paint."
The Lady Techsters open the season Nov. 6 against LSU-Alexandria, the first of three straight home games to start the year. Season tickets are on sale and can be purchased by calling 318-257-3631 or logging onto LATechSports.com/Tickets.