RUSTON, La. – Louisiana Tech took its first loss of the year Wednesday night, falling 88-80 to Wichita State at the Thomas Assembly Center.
Head coach Brooke Stoehr told her team in the postgame locker room that they needed to learn from it.
“I just told them it was a failure tonight on the scoreboard and we are taking a loss because of it,” said Stoehr. “But it will be another failure if we don’t come back tomorrow and admit it, learn from it, correct it and grow from it. That’s what this group has to do.”
Wichita State (2-2) took Tech behind the woodshed early, forcing turnovers that led to transition buckets and pulling down offensive rebounds that led to put backs. The Shockers built a 15-point first quarter lead, pushed it out to 22 at the half and eventually as many as 33 in the third quarter.
Tech mounted a valiant comeback attempt in the fourth quarter, cutting the deficit to as few as six, but it wasn’t enough.
“It was a struggle,” said Stoehr. “Credit Wichita State. They came out tonight and played really hard. They just whipped us. I thought we were soft with the ball that led to turnovers that led to transition buckets. You can’t defend live ball turnovers that lead to layups. I don’t care how good you are.
“We gave up too many offensive rebounds. It took us 30 minutes to stat to play hard. The frustrating thing is we had to take a loss at home for us to figure it out. And we will see if we figure it out. If we don’t show up to play hard, we won’t win. There are about five teams in the country that are talented enough to just show up and win. We aren’t one of those five. We have to be better. I am not going to coach energy and effort.”
Seraphine Bastin scored 20 points to lead the Shockers while DJ McCarty added 18 points and Shyla Smith chipped in with 16 points as Wichita State overcame 26 turnovers in the win.
Tech trailed 67-34 midway through the third quarter before closing the gap to 71-44 at the end of the stanza. However, the Lady Techsters (2-1) found some fight in the fourth quarter, using a full out full court press to create chaos and slowly cut the lead to single digits.
A pair of Raizel Guinto free throws with exactly one minute to play cut the lead to eight points and then a Guinto layup with 23 seconds left closed the gap to 85-79. However, Wichita State hit 9-of-12 free throws in the quarter to pull out the win.
“I thought we had some moments in the fourth quarter where we started to guard and turn people over but it was too late,” said Stoehr. “It’s one of those night where it wasn’t much fun. It comes down to energy an effort. And we had a group at the end that was giving great effort and they were doing what we asked them to do.”
Tech returns to action Saturday when they travel to Oxford, Mississippi, to face Ole Miss at 2 p.m.