14-point loss ends Techster season

March 26, 2009

by Sapphira Brown

The Lady Techsters played a remarkable game against SMU during the first round of the Women’s National Invitational Tournament Thursday evening in the Thomas Assembly Center.

The team was able to defeat SMU 54-77 in front of a roaring crowd of over 1500 spectators.

The Techsters struggled early against the SMU defensive pressure while committing several early turnovers in the first half of play.

Head Coach Teresa Weatherspoon said she was very disappointed with the team’s sloppy play in the first half.

“I think it was just nerves, but once we settle the way we did, we can get it done,” Weatherspoon said.

However, despite the team’s mistakes, they managed to shoot 66.7 percent from the free throw line and 41.2 percent from the field.
With approximately ten minutes left in the first half, SMU’s zone defense was tattered after two back-to-back three point shots by Whitney Jones who also scored 11 points in the game.

The halftime score was 41-30.

Coming from halftime, SMU decided to go to a man-to-man defense. Unfortunately, the Lady Techsters had already found their momentum.
Despite the doubling put on star forward Shannavia Dowdell, the team was still able to get the ball in to Adrienne Johnson early and often as she led the team with 31 points.

Weatherspoon felt that the key to the team progressing and getting off to a good start was Dowdell and Johnson getting in the paint and making things happen.

“When Adrienne and Shannavia get going, the team goes,” says Weatherspoon.

“We are going throwback with how we play. Once we get the girls working together down low, there aren’t too many girls that can take them.”

Unfortunately for the Lady Techsters, the run to a WNIT title was stopped by the Illinois State Redbirds late Tuesday night.

In a game where the Techsters found themselves on the opposite side of an offensive onslaught, the Techsters were unable to find the baskets necessary to stay close in the 73-59 defeat.

The Redbirds jumped out to an early lead 17-2 and controlled the action for most of the game from there on out.

“We simply dug ourselves a big hole early,” Weatherspoon said. “You can’t do that against a great basketball team like Illinois State. Now, I was proud that our young ladies found it within themselves to fight out of that hole. It took a lot of composure on their part to do that.”

The Techsters managed to tie the game 28-28 at the half, but that was as close as the Techsters would get.

A 14-5 run late in the second half spelled doom for the Lady Techsters as Illinois State’s offensive stars, Maggie Krick and Kristi Cirone, scored a total of 30 points after intermission.

The heartbreaking loss may have ended the season for the Techsters, but hopes for the 2009-10 season remain high after the team managed to win nine of their last 11 games.