RUSTON, La. – Keiunna Walker scored a career-high 20 points and Raizel Guinto added a career-high eight assists to lead Louisiana Tech to a 79-54 win over McNeese State Thursday night at the Thomas Assembly Center.
Tech (5-2) picked up its third straight win using a 13-0 run to start the third quarter and push a 29-26 halftime lead out to 42-26 midway through the quarter. The Lady Techsters forced 30 turnovers in the win and dominated the paint, outscoring the Cowgirls 44-22.
“I tell myself to be happy about any win,” said Tech head coach Brooke Stoehr. “We did some good things tonight. We forced 30 turnovers defensively. I just didn’t think we were very sharp with our spacing in the first half. I thought we missed a lot of easy shots tonight too. If we just make our layups, then we probably have 25 assists instead of 26.”
McNeese State (2-6) took an early 12-4 lead before the Lady Techsters used a 9-0 run to momentarily retake the advantage. The Cowgirls led 16-13 early in the second quarter before a 14-0 run by Tech gave the Lady Techsters a 27-16 advantage. Tech led 29-26 at the half after neither team shot the ball well in the opening two quarters.
The second half saw the Lady Techsters continue to use their defensive pressure to force turnovers and turn them into points. Tech scored 30 points off the 30 McNeese State miscues in the game.
Tech shot the ball much second in the second half, hitting 20 of 31 field goals in the third and fourth quarters while outscoring McNeese State 50-28 after halftime, including 32-17 in the fourth quarter.
“We had some people really step up tonight,” said Stoehr. “I thought senior Daria McCutcheon came off the bench in the third quarter and really provided us a spark. And I’m not even talking about her two buckets on the offensive end. I thought she really talked and communicated on the defensive end and that was big for us.
“I told the entire team in the locker room how proud I was of her. She didn’t sit over on the bench and pout. She comes out every day in practice and works to get better.”
Damilola Balogun led McNeese State with 14 points and 13 rebounds.
Tech returns to action Sunday when they travel to face Houston at 2 p.m.