The Thomas Assembly Center was built in 1982 making 2012 the 30th year of its opening. There has been an insurmountable number of unforgettable moments that have filled the TAC over the past 30 years. The top 10 memories have been compiled (by date) in honor of the most memorable moments at the TAC.
1. Dec. 4, 1982: A crowd of 8,700 watched the inaugural basketball game in the arena as top-ranked Southern Cal and Cheryl Miller defeated LA Tech 64-58 in the women’s game while UL-Lafayette (formerly Southwestern Louisiana) defeated the Bulldogs 46-45.
2. March 9, 1985: During the Southland Conference tournament, Karl “The Mailman” Malone and company stopped Northeast Louisiana University 72-70 in a wild semifinal game, then halted Lamar University in an equally exciting game 70-69. From there, they went on to the Sweet 16 before losing to the late and great Wayman Tisdale at Reunion Arena in Dallas. Need anybody be reminded of that rim-rolling finish?
3. Feb. 18, 1989: Venus Lacy scored 35 points and grabbed 16 rebounds in only 20 minutes of action as Louisiana Tech set a program record with a 101-point win over University of Texas-Pan American as the Lady Techsters won 126-25. Tech led 63-15 at halftime.
4. Feb. 23, 1991: Sheila Ethridge scored a Thomas Assembly Center record (men or women) 47 points as Louisiana Tech defeated University of Texas-Pan American 102-45. Ethridge hit 18-of-29 field goals, including a TAC record 10 3-pointers, while scoring 35 second-half points in the victory.
5. Nov. 20, 1996: Louisiana Tech built an early 18-point lead before watching head coach Pat Summitt and the third-ranked Tennessee Lady Vols fight all the way back to take a 58-53 lead with just over five minutes to play in regulation.
6. Jan. 18, 1999: Tamicha Jackson scored 26 points, and Amanda Wilson added 17 points and 16 rebounds as Louisiana Tech defeated second-ranked Connecticut 90-76 before 6,949 fans on Martin Luther King Day. On a weekend that saw the Lady Techster program celebrate its 25th anniversary, Tech handed head coach Geno Auriemma and the Huskies their worst defeat of the year.
7. Feb. 16, 2001: Guard Gerrod Henderson became ill and threw up on the floor, but that did not stop him from being carried off the court after nailing a 3-pointer in the closing seconds to defeat head coach Jerry “Tark the Shark” Tarkanian and the Fresno State Bulldogs 66-63.
8. Dec. 6, 2006: Legendary head coach Bobby Knight brought his Texas Tech squad into Ruston to face LA Tech in front of the sixth largest crowd in the TAC’s history (7,087), but the Bulldogs were unable to pull off an upset, losing in the final minutes to the Red Raiders 66-59.
9. Feb. 5, 2011: Adrienne Johnson scored 26 points as Louisiana Tech overcame a double-digit deficit to defeat bitter WAC rival Fresno State 90-84 in double overtime. Johnson hit the game-tying free throw with three seconds to play in regulation and then added six points in a second overtime to seal the win before more than 7,000 fans who also witnessed tempers flare between the two teams following the game.
10. Feb. 18, 2012: Freshman guard Kenneth Smith set the Louisiana Tech school record for assists in a game with 15 as the Bulldogs defeated Central Arkansas 84-62 as part of the Sears ESPN BracketBuster program. Former Bulldog Bud Dean had held the assists record since Jan. 17, 1969, with 14.
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