BOCA RATON, Fla. – Kierra Anthony scored 19 points and Ashley Santos added 13 points and nine rebounds to lead Louisiana Tech to a 76-52 win over Florida Atlantic in Conference USA action at FAU Arena Thursday night.
Alexus Malone added a double double with 12 points and 13 rebounds to spearhead an interior post game that saw Louisiana Tech (14-11, 9-5 C-USA) outscore Florida Atlantic (4-20, 0-13 C-USA) 48-12 on points in the paint.
However, the win didn’t come easy. Tech led just 47-42 through three quarters of action before outscoring the Owls 29-10 over the final 10 minutes of play. The win was the fourth straight for LA Tech while Florida Atlantic fell for the 14th straight game.
“I thought we finally started really sprinting back in transition in the fourth quarter and stopping them from getting some easy buckets,” said Tech head coach Brooke Stoehr. “You have to give them a lot of credit. They never gave up. We were up double figures in the third quarter and they cut it down to three. Florida Atlantic showed a lot of fight.
“I am proud of how hard we played. I thought early we were really loose with the basketball. I think we had nine turnovers at halftime. But I thought we finally settled down and got the ball inside and went to work. We also took some good three-pointers in the fourth quarter and knocked them down. We have some things to clean up for Saturday, but overall, I was pleased.”
After hitting only 1-of-8 three-pointers through the first three quarters, Tech connected on 5-of-6 from beyond the arc in the fourth quarter, including a pair from Anthony, a pair from Kierra Lang and one from Rochelle Vasquez – who was celebrating her 22nd birthday.
However, it was the work down low that allowed Tech to win. Santos scored a season-high 13 points on 6-of-12 shooting and grabbed 9 rebounds while Malone added 12 points and 13 rebounds on 6-of-7 shooting. Jasmine LeBlanc added 12 points and nine boards.
“We felt we had an advantage down low,” said Stoehr. “I am really happy for Ashley. She took some good shots, stayed under control and really provided us a spark off the bench tonight.”
FAU took an early 12-6 lead after a 10-0 run and the Owls led 14-12 after the first quarter. The second quarter – like the fourth – was all Lady Techsters. Tech held FAU to just 3-of-17 shooting in the second quarter and outscored the Owls 20-7, including a Santos jumper at the buzzer to give Tech a 32-21 halftime lead.
For the game, Tech shot 45 percent (34-75) from the field and 6-of-14 from the three-point line while holding FAU to just 31 percent (18-58) from the field. Tech shot a season low three free throws, connecting on two.
Tech also outrebounded FAU 49-34, marking the third straight game that the Lady Techsters have won the rebounding battle by double digits.
The Lady Techsters have now won four straight C-USA games and will look for a fifth straight win Saturday at 1 p.m. CT when they FIU in Miami.