Louisiana Tech defeated Ole Miss 88-70 in a women's basketball game mainly because of an incredible 27-0 second-half run.
"I don't know if I've ever been more proud of a win than this one," said Louisiana Tech third-year Coach Kurt Budke, now 61-6 in his tenure with the Lady Techsters. "We won at Penn State last year and at Texas Tech last year. But I couldn't be any more proud than what they did tonight. That streak was something you don't see every night. We knew coming in we'd have a heck of a struggle. Ole Miss is an NCAA Tournament team with one of the best coaching staffs in the country. We knew it would be tough."
Ole Miss Coach Carol Ross wasn't quite as pleased with her team.
"It is disappointing mainly because we lost at home and we wanted to establish some type of dominance on our home court," she said. "I thought the game really turned out to be how Louisiana Tech handled adversity and Ole Miss handled adversity. Louisiana Tech did a good job, and Ole Miss did a poor job. When things go poorly, that's when your character shows through. I didn't think we responded very well. I didn't see our team rally up and pull together and fight like we've seen in the past. We planned this game early in the year to see our strengths and weaknesses. So we move on from here."
The announced crowd of 2,817 was into the game in the first half.
"But in the second half we might as well have been playing in Ruston (home of Louisiana Tech), because we didn't give them anything to cheer about," Ross said.
The Lady Techsters took the early lead 8-3 when Ross called a timeout. The Lady Rebs then went on a 12-8 run to take a 20-16 lead on a couple of free throws by senior center Amber Watts. The largest lead of the first half for Ole Miss was 28-20 when junior forward Ellen Buchanan hit freshman forward Dee Forrest for a layup. The Lady Rebs led 38-34 at halftime.
Senior guard Elizabeth Cansdale drove the lane and was fouled with 17:14 to go in the game. She made the free throw to give Ole Miss a 49-40 lead. Then then unbelievable run happened. Over the next eight minutes, Tech moved to a 67-49 lead.
Sparked by four consecutive 3-point shots by Aarica Ray-Boyd which moved the score from 49-40 UM to 52-49 LTU, the race was on for the visitors.
The drought didn't end until sophomore guard Armintie Price hit the second of two free throws with 9:06 to go in the game to make it 67-50. But by then, the Lady Techsters were in complete control.
Ole Miss later made a little run of its own, although an 8-0 run would only be considered somewhat insignificant if the opposition just came off a 27-0 run. Ole Miss cut the lead to 72-63 on a jumper by sophomore guard Ashley Awkward with 4:08 to go. But Tech stretched it back out after that.
"We have to learn from this," Price, with 15 points, said. "We can't let somebody just shoot us out of a game. We have to play better defense."
Watts paced UM with 24 points. Awkward had 10.
Louisiana Tech, which opened its season with the contest in Oxford, shot 51 percent from the floor including 53 percent from 3-point range. Ole Miss shot just 32 percent from the floor and from 3-point range was a dismal 2-for-20 for 10 percent.
The Lady Rebs, now 1-1, leave Thanksgiving morning for Dallas and the SMU Tournament. They play McNeese State at 5 p.m. Friday. They also play Saturday.