By: Malcolm Butler
RUSTON, La. – Amber Dixon’s layup with nine seconds to play broke a tie and lifted Louisiana Tech to a 70-66 win over Grambling State Monday night at the Thomas Assembly Center in Ruston.
Tech (7-3) led 65-53 with 3:32 to play in the fourth quarter before Grambling State (1-7) used a 13-1 run to tie the game on a pair of free throws by Alexus Holt with 25 seconds remaining.
The Lady Techsters inbounded the ball in the back court, putting it in Dixon’s hands. The junior brought it up against the Tigers pressure and eventually came off an on-ball screen and sliced down the right side of the lane, getting past the Grambling State defenders to lay it in.
With Tech leading 68-66, Grambling State had a chance to tie or win with a three-pointer but the Tigers couldn’t inbound the ball against the Tech pressure following a timeout as a five-second call gave possession back to the Lady Techsters.
Holding onto the two point lead, senior guard Daria McCutcheon was fouled and calmly sank two free throws to seal the victory for the Lady Techsters, the sixth in as many tries against their Lincoln Parish neighbor.
The win didn’t come easy. After building an early 11-4 lead, Tech saw Grambling State fight its way back in a turnover-plagued first half that saw the two teams combine to commit 28. Grambling State took a 31-25 lead into the locker room against Tech after holding the Lady Techsters to just 27 percent (6-21) shooting in the opening half.
However, Tech came out of the locker room energized in the third quarter, using a 9-0 run over the first 2:15 of the stanza to retake the lead. Tech outscored GSU 24-11 in the third quarter to lead the game 49-42 entering the fourth quarter. Tech committed just five turnovers after halftime and outrebounded Grambling State 24-14 over the final two quarters of action.
Grambling State was led by Ariel Williams with 17 points.