Home » Women’s college basketball: Lady Techsters celebrate 50 years with 1,200th program win

Women’s college basketball: Lady Techsters celebrate 50 years with 1,200th program win

by Russell Hedges

By Kevin Albarez, Louisiana Tech Associate Director/Strategic Communications; featured photo by Jaden Williams

RUSTON — On Jan. 7, 1975, Louisiana Tech played Southeastern in the program’s first game, a 59-55 loss. Fifty seasons later, the Lady Techsters won their 1,200th game to become the fifth program in NCAA women’s basketball history to reach that milestone.

LA Tech (7-9, 1-0 CUSA) used a 17-3 run to end the third quarter and held off Sam Houston (5-8, 0-1) to take the Conference USA opener 66-62 on Saturday afternoon inside the Thomas Assembly Center.

Outside of six points in the first two minutes of the game, both offenses would start the game cold from the field. A combined 3-13 at the media timeout, the teams quickly found their rhythm and finished 9-16 over the final five minutes.

Robyn Lee drove through the paint and spun around the Bearkat defender for a layup to tie the game with two minutes remaining. Her three-point a minute later gave the Lady Techsters a 13-12 advantage at the end of one.

Tech’s defense would step up in the second stanza, forcing Sam Houston into five turnovers. However, the Bearkat defense kept the Lady Techsters at bay. Sam Houston would take a 24-23 lead at the half.

Salma Bates Had a fast break layup to tie the game back up early in the third. On the next Sam Houston possession, Bates stole the ball from the Bearkats and took it all the way to give the Lady Techsters the lead. Sam Houston would respond with a 7-0 to retake the lead.

After Bates connected on her first three-pointer of the game, Paris Guillory gave the Lady Techsters a spark. Seeing action for the first time since Nov. 24, Guillory connected on three straight shots, two from behind the arc, to give Tech the lead for good. She caped off a 17-3 run with a layup with 30 seconds remaining in the quarter.

Sam Houston used a timeout early in the fourth after back-to-back baskets pushed the Lady Techsters’ run to 21-3. An and one by Silvia Nativi would give the Lady Techsters a 57-45 with six minutes to go. The Bearkats would not quit and used a 12-2 run over the next three minutes to make it a one-possession game.

The two teams would trade points until a missed shot by Tech with 13 seconds remaining would give Sam Houston a chance to win. The Techster defense stood tall and forced an errant shot that found its way into Jianna Morris’ hands. Two free throws by Anna Larr Roberson would seal the milestone victory. 

Lee finished with a team high 16 points and seven rebounds. Amaya Brannon (11), Roberson (10), and Guillory (10) finished in double figures.

Diana Rosenthall led Sam Houston with 17 points. Raanee Smith finished with 11 points and 11 rebounds.

QUOTABLES

Head coach Brooke Stoehr
“It is a special day here to have a lot of former players back, coaches, and support staff. We are only the fifth program in women’s college basketball history with 1,200 wins. That’s just an incredible milestone. So many people played a part in that, whether they were managers, players, coaches, or support staff. It is a special day to have that 1200th win on the day we celebrate the 50th anniversary. 

So excited for our group. We didn’t finish the game very well, but when we needed to stop, we got one and made two crucial free throws. We executed the last 13 seconds the way we needed to. Our crowd got into it and wanted something to cheer for that first half. Our group responded well in the third quarter offensively. We started moving the ball, and that’s the way this group must play.

On the defense stepping up the past five games…
“We have to force contested shots, and then we’ve got to continue to clean up our rebounding. It’s a mentality, and we’ve got to fix that. We out-rebounded them by one, but they got nine more shots than we did. We have to do a better job of it, whether taking better care of the ball, turning them over more, or giving up fewer rebounds. Still, I thought offensively, you go 41 percent from the field and three. That’s a good thing. We fouled too much. That was the difference in the fourth quarter. When we needed to stop, and we needed a rebound, we found a way to get one and knock down two free throws to ice the game. So, I’m proud of their effort. You get to 1-0 in conference play, and that’s all you’re trying to do.”

NOTABLES

  • Louisiana Tech became the fifth program in NCAA history with 1,200 wins.
  • LA Tech moved to 4-0 against Sam Houston.
  • Tech started conference 1-0 for the first time since the 2020-21 season.
  • Anna Larr Roberson moved into No. 26 on the all-time scoring list with 1,432.
  • Mackenzie Wurm tied a season-high three blocks. She has nine career games with three or more blocks in a game.
  • Aa a team, Tech finished with a season-high six blocks.
  • Tech’s bench finished with 24 points, the seventh time with 20 or more.

UP NEXT
Louisiana Tech will host Middle Tennessee on Wednesday, Jan. 10, at 10 p.m. The game will be live on ESPN+ and KNBB 97.7 FM/LA Tech Athletics App.

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