By: Kyle Kavanaugh/Louisiana Tech Athletics
RUSTON, La. – The Louisiana Tech women’s basketball team returns home for four of their next five games, beginning with UAB on Thursday, Jan. 26, at 6 p.m. on Karl Malone Court inside the Thomas Assembly Center. The game can be seen on CUSA.tv. Live radio and live stats can be found on the LA Tech Athletics app.
Date/Time: Thursday, Jan. 26 | 6 p.m. CT
Location: Thomas Assembly Center | Ruston, La.
Radio: KNBB 97.7 FM | LA Tech Athletics app
Stats:LATechSports.com/Stats | LA Tech Athletics app
ABOUT LOUISIANA TECH (11-8, 4-5 C-USA)
Louisiana Tech dropped back-to-back games for the first time this season, falling to Western Kentucky and No. 23 Middle Tennessee on the road last week. At WKU, Tech erased a 12-point fourth-quarter deficit to four but could not get over the hump. Two days later, Tech held a one-point lead over the now-ranked Blue Raiders but surrendered a 31-point fourth quarter.
After three straight on the road, Tech returns home for four of their next five inside the TAC, beginning with a two-game set this week against UAB and UTSA.
Tech recently faced UAB in Birmingham four games ago, taking out the Blazers 61-55 behind Keiunna Walker’s season-high 26 points. Tech’s defense held the then No. 1 offense in Conference USA (77 PPG) to 22 points under their average on a season-low 28 percent shooting.
Tech is 8-0 this season when holding opponents to under 60 points. Tech’s defense ranks No. 2 in C-USA at 60.2 PPG on a second-best .372 shooting. Offensively, Tech ranks No. 2 in several categories, including field goal percentage (.448), three-point percentage (.347), free throw percentage (.781), and assists per game (14.2). Tech is averaging 65.6 PPG and is 7-1 this season when eclipsing 70 points or more.
The Techsters are averaging just 34.8 rebounds per contest but have a perfect 6-0 mark when out-rebounding the opposition.
LA Tech is seeking the program’s 600th all-time win at home, including games played in Memorial Gymnasium and the Thomas Assembly Center.
ABOUT UAB (10-8, 2-7 C-USA)
UAB got off to a great start to the season with an 8-1 non-conference slate, with their only loss coming at the hands of LSU in the Bahamas after winning their first five contests of 22-23 but have struggled to close out games in the conference slate.
The Blazers have been very competitive in their conference losses, dropping five of their seven by six points or less. UAB has picked up wins over Florida Atlantic (75-47) and took down North Texas in their last outing on the road (76-74).
Offensively, UAB has a top-three offense scoring 74.4 PPG on .427 shooting (No. 5), including a league-best .353 from three. The Blazers also lead the league in three-pointers made (165) and threes made per game at 9.2 UAB has scored 70 or more in 12 contests, including a season-high 101 over Mississippi Valley State.
UAB’s defense allows 67.9 PPG but poses one of the stingiest opponent field goal percentages at .388 and three-point percentages (.288). Both marks are top-three in the league. In addition, the Blazers lead the league in defensive rebounds per game at 29.1 but are among the lowest in offensive rebounds (No. 10) at only 8.7 per game.
Freshman standout Denim DeShields has earned three C-USA Freshman of the Week honors this season and leads the Blazers at 13.6 PPG with 2.8 RPG and 4.5 APG, respectively, ranking No. 2 in C-USA. Margaret Whitley joins DeShields in double-figure scoring at 11.6 PPG and leads Conference USA in three-point shooting at 44 percent (44-101).
Saturday’s matchup will be the 18th overall meeting between LA Tech and UAB on the hardwood.
The series history has favored the road teams, with UAB taking five of seven in Ruston and Tech taking seven of eight in Birmingham, including four games ago with Tech winning 61-55 on the road.
LA Tech has won seven straight, breaking their home-win drought last season in the C-USA West Division title-clinching game. Tech would sweep a three-game set last season on a neutral floor in the C-USA Quarterfinals, one game removed from the division clincher.
The series is relatively young, only beginning during the 2013- 14 season. UAB took four of the first six before Tech won back-to-back, followed by the Blazer’s two-game sweep over the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons. UAB’s last win was during 2019-20 in Ruston (71-51).
Eight games have been decided by 6 points or less, while six have been 15 points or greater.
Season and single-game tickets are on sale and can be purchased at LATechSports.com/Tickets or by calling the LA Tech Ticket Office at (318) 257-3631.
GAMEDAY GUIDE/CLEAR BAG POLICY
Fans are encouraged to read the Gameday A-Z Guide and review the Clear Bag Policy for questions regarding the game day experience. Clear bags are required at all Louisiana Tech athletic events.
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