MONROE – Sophomore Jasmine LeBlanc scored 20 points and Louisiana Tech recorded its most complete game of the season in defeating ULM 73-53 before 503 fans at Fant-Ewing Coliseum Tuesday night.
Tech (3-2) overcame a sluggish start and some early foul trouble in the win, using a strong second and third quarter to build a 23-point lead and coast to the win. Tech is now 45-9 all-time against ULM, including an 18-7 mark in games played in Monroe.
The Lady Techsters led 16-14 after the first quarter and 33-24 at the halftime break. Tech then came out of the locker room and outscored ULM 26-12 in the third quarter to put the game out of reach.
“I thought that was as strong as we have played coming out of halftime in a game this year,” said Tech head coach Brooke Stoehr. “Our press forced some turnovers, and we were able to score in transition. We got the basketball inside and took quality shots.”
Tech was relentless in the paint, outscoring the Warhawks 36-18 on points in the paint behind the strong inside play of LeBlanc, Alexus Malone and Reauna Cleaver. Time after time the Techsters ran their offense and the Tech guards made solid post entry passes leading to easy layups and point blank shots.
LeBlanc scored 20 points, grabbed seven rebounds, and added career-highs in assists (5) and steals (4) while not committing a turnover in 35 minutes of action.
“I think the thing I’m most proud of is those zero turnovers for her,” Stoehr said. “We really fed off of her tonight on both ends of the floor.”
Malone added 13 points and six rebounds in only 16 minutes while Cleaver chipped in with five points and three boards in only 11 minutes of action.
For the second straight game, Tech shot the ball well, hitting 50 percent (29-59) of its field goals and 6-of-11 of its three-pointers in the game.
“I think the biggest thing is we are taking good shots,” Stoehr said. “And we missed some easy shots tonight too. We missed some shots in transition and some opportunities in the paint. But again, we are taking good shots.”
Rochelle Vasquez recorded her third straight double digit scoring game, adding 14 points while connecting on all three of her 3-point field goal attempts in the game. Kierra Anthony also shot it well, hitting 5-of-6 shots, including a pair of three-pointers, while adding 12 points.
Defensively, Tech held ULM’s top three scorers in check, allowing only 16 points to Alexis Collins, Stephanie Ratliff and Gabriella Cortez, who entered the game combining to score 35 points a contest. Ratliff, who was averaging a double double, was held to two points and five rebounds and didn’t record a field goal in the game.
“I thought we did a nice job defensively and on the boards,” Stoehr said. “They were averaging 16 offensive rebounds a game and we held them to only seven. It’s an area we have been working on in practice and we have been better recently.”
ULM entered the contest with a plus 11.0 rebounds per game margin, but LA Tech won the rebounding battle 31-28.
Tech returns to action Sunday when it travels to Lake Charles to face McNeese State at 2 p.m. at Burton Coliseum.