LaTech's inside-out game thwacks Rainbow Wahine


POSTED: Monday, February 23, 2009

It was almost unfair.

Louisiana Tech punished the Hawaii women's basketball team with a killer combination of efficient post play and dead-eye shooting from the perimeter in an 89-71 victory yesterday at the Stan Sheriff Center.

A gathering of 236 saw the Rainbow Wahine (6-20, 3-10 Western Athletic Conference) fail to cover the Lady Techsters' twin post threats, Shanavia Dowdell and Adrienne Johnson, and simultaneously keep tabs on LaTech's 3-point shooters.

Johnson displayed a soft touch inside for a career-high 23 points and grabbed nine rebounds. LaTech shot 54.1 percent overall and 6-for-12 on 3-pointers, far above its 28.3 percent season average from long range. The Techsters also converted 17 of 20 at the foul line.

“;That's the thing, they don't usually shoot the ball that well,”; said Hawaii's Megan Tinnin, who scored a team-high 17. “;That's what killed us, because we were basing (our strategy) on them not shooting the ball that well. When they're making their shots, we can't do both, leave them open and come down on the post.”;

Louisiana Tech's new head coach, Teresa Weatherspoon (a former LaTech All-American) has brought out the best in the second-place Lady Techsters. Since Weatherspoon's victorious debut against the Wahine in Ruston, La., on Feb. 13, she's led her team to four straight double-digit wins.

The Wahine, meanwhile, are trying to play their way out of the WAC tournament play-in game (reserved for the bottom two teams in the league) under acting head coach Pat Charity. Things got more difficult in that aspect with New Mexico State's victory over San Jose State, giving the Aggies a two-game lead for seventh place with three to play.

UH dropped to 1-3 under Charity, who is leading the team while head coach Jim Bolla is on paid leave from UH.

Hawaii couldn't replicate the 50-rebound performance it used to keep the game close in Ruston, largely because of a leg injury that kept Tara Hittle (the team's leading rebounder) on the sidelines.

“;Tara's a big part of (getting outrebounded 39-30 yesterday) because she gets everybody else going to the boards,”; Charity said. “;We just didn't follow the game plan for them that we had set up. We were doubling down on the post, but we'd sometimes forget. And we'd forget to go to the boards.”;

LaTech posted a 49-point first half and busted the game open early in the second half with a 21-4 run to go up by as much as 29.

UH's players wore pink socks for breast cancer awareness month.



WAC standings

Fresno State93.750187
Louisiana Tech94.6921/21611
Nevada85.6151 1/21412
Idaho85.6151 1/21113
Boise State85.6151 1/21512
Utah State75.58321312
New Mexico St.58.3854 1/2918
Hawaii310.2316 1/2620
San Jose State113.0719225

La. Tech 89, Hawaii 71

Lady Techsters (16-11, 9-4)

TEAM  4     

Rainbow Wahine (6-20, 3-10)


Key—fg-a: field goals made-attempted; ft-a: free throws made-attempted; rb: rebounds; pf: personal fould; pts: total points; a: assists; to: turnovers; min: minutes played.

Halftime—La. Tech 49, Hawaii 33.

3-point goals—La. Tech 6-12 (Pringle 2-3, Mulford 1-1, Bendolph 1-1, Thomas 1-2, Stewart 1-3, Jones 0-2), Hawaii 8-19( Cho 2-2, Galdones 1-1, Liepkalne 1-2, Tinnin 3-8, Hamilton 1-3, Patterson 0-1, Kanekoa 0-2).

Steals—La. Tech 10 (Thomas 4, Jones 3, Pringle, Johnson, Mulford), Hawaii 12 (Liepkalne 2, Kanekoa 2, Patterson 2, Galdones 2, Tinnin, Linton, Hamilton, Arbuckle). Blocked shots—La. Tech 5 (Jones, Johnson, Dowdell, Thomas), Hawaii 3 (Arbuckle 2, Tinnin).

Officials—Peter Contreras, Michael Price, Kent Johnson. A—236.