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Lady Techsters overcome Thundering Herd

January 23, 2018

Roderic Lloyd

Staff Reporter | rsl010@latech.edu

 

Big shots down the stretch propels Louisiana Tech to its third Conference USA victory as they continue their grueling road stretch.

 

The Lady Techsters (12-5, 3-1 C-USA) led 68-65 with under a minute left when junior Kierra Anthony banked home an off-balance runner to push the advantage to two possessions. Anthony finished with 14 points and 6 assists, as Tech made stops on Marshall’s down the stretch in route to a 74-65 win.

 

Senior Alexus Malone added 20 points and 8 rebounds of her own to pace Tech’s attack.

 

“I am so proud of the way our team handled a lot of adversity on this trip,” Tech head coach Brooke Stoehr said. “We had travel issues yesterday and we didn’t get a chance for a practice or a shoot around today. I am proud of the players and I am proud of my staff. Everyone handled the situation extremely well. We overcame adversity and found a way to win on the road.”

 

Travel complications or not, Tech brought a heightened sense of urgency to Cam Henderson Center Jan. 13 following their first loss iin seven games at Southern Miss. After trailing 14-13 at the end of the first quarter, Tech turned their intensity up a few notches in the second quarter, building as much as a 17-point lead and never looked back.

 

The Lady Techsters started the frame on a 15-0 run and back-to-back Taylor Stahly three-pointers midway through the second quarter gave them a 36-19 lead. Stahly finished with 14 points, hitting 4-of-6 three-pointers.

 

The Thundering Herd (6-10, 0-3 C-USA) would not go quietly, as they stormed back, cutting the deficit to 38-29 at the half behind a three-point barrage. Marshall did not stop there, as they opened the third quarter strong and used a 12-0 run to knot the game at 45-45 on a transition layup by Ekaterina Zhibareva.

 

“The one thing I am disappointed in was how we started the second half,” Stoehr said. “We just didn’t come out with the energy and effort that we played with in the first half. We still haven’t played a complete game. In a way that’s an exciting thing because I think this team’s potential is high. We just have to learn how to do it for 40 minutes.”

 

Tech responded to the Marshall run, ending the quarter on a 13-5 run, as they entered the fourth quarter leading 58-50.

 

The Thundering Herd made one last run, as they scored 11 straight points during a two-minute stretch to close the gap to 65-63 on a pair of free throws by Shayna Gore.

 

On the Lady Techsters ensuing possession, Stahly sunk a corner three-pointer as the shot clock expired off an assist from Anthony to push the lead to 68-63. Marshall added another field goal to make it a one possession game, setting the stage for Anthony’s late heroics.

 

“We really need Kierra (Anthony),” Stoehr said. “She has been struggling a little. I think she puts too much pressure on herself. She is a proven shooter and scorer and it was good to see her make some big shots. She hit one at the end of the third quarter and then the one late that gave us some cushion.”

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