RUSTON, La. (KNOE) - Newcomers Taylor Stahly, Maria Delgado and Nikki McDonald all scored in double figures leading Louisiana Tech to an 87-47 win over NAIA foe LSU-Alexandria before 1,563 fans at the Thomas Assembly Center Sunday afternoon.
Junior Kierra Anthony tied her career high with 23 points in only 17 minutes while Alexus Malone and Zhanae Whitney each pulled down 10 rebounds giving the lady Techsters (2-0) a 53-32 advantage on the boards.
Head coach Brooke Stoehr used the game to get work for a roster that includes eight newcomers and only six returners.
“I think it was really important to get them some game action, get them comfortable with extended minutes and get them some reps in a game-like situation,” said Stoehr. “I felt like we got our starters some good minutes. We had some really good spurts today. It was good to get everyone out there. We didn’t shoot it really well, but we got some good work.”
Tech led 25-15 after the first quarter and 50-23 at halftime as the game was never in doubt. Arguably the most difficult part of the game was the Lady Techster perimeter players staying patient and passing up wide open three-pointers early in each offensive possession.
“We told our players we need to reverse the ball and change sides of the court a couple of times,” said Stoehr. “Although you are open when you make one pass that doesn’t mean we want you to shoot it. We want to pass up a good shot to get a great shot, and I thought when we moved the ball we good some really good shots. I’m not against the three-pointer, but if we are going to shoot 25 of them, we need to make more than seven.”
Anthony hit 9-of-14 field goals, including a pair of three-pointers, and 3-of-5 free throws in route to her career-high tying 23 points. McDonald, a transfer from Elon who sat out last year, hit 6-of-8 field goals and both of her free throws to score 14 points in nine minutes.
Delgado connected on 4-of-7 field goals and 2-of-3 free throws to add 11 points while Stahly hit a pair of three-pointers on her way to 10 points. Freshman Amber Dixon led Tech with seven assists and now has 13 assists and only two turnovers in her first two collegiate games.
“Amber pushes tempo and gives us a spark,” said Stoehr. “We started her today and got her some extended minutes. She provides energy. She is long and has the ability to disrupt the defensive end. She sees the floor and looks ahead and does a good job of pushing tempo for us.”
For the game, Tech shot 47 percent (31-of-68) from the field, 7-of-25 three-pointers and 19-of-32 from the free throw line. LSU-Alexandria hit 33 percent (18-55) from the field, 4-of-22 from the three-point line and 7-of-16 from the free throw line.
The Lady Techsters return to action Thursday when they host Memphis at 6:30 p.m. at the Thomas Assembly Center.