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|Lady Techsters get blowout win|
Louisiana Tech (7-5) used a strong second half to earn an 83-62 win over UMBC Sunday afternoon in the first game of Marriott Cavalier Classic.
Tech used a balanced offensive attack that saw four players score in double figures, but it was the Lady Techsters defensive effort against the nation's third leading scorer Carlee Cassidy that sealed the win.
Using multiple players to guard her, Tech held Cassidy — who entered the game averaging 24.9 points per game — to only 14 points on 4-of-21 shooting including only 4-of-13 from beyond the arc.
"I thought our team played a great defensive game," said Tech head coach Chris Long. "UMBC is very difficult team to defend because everyone on the floor can shoot the three.
"I felt like we eventually wore them down in the second half. In the first half, they shot it well but in the second half we forced them into some tough shots. To hold that team to 62 points and 32 percent shooting, I'm just very pleased."
Cassidy scored 11 of her 14 points in the opening half before scoring only three after intermission.
The opening 20 minutes saw the two teams trade the lead eight times before the Lady Techsters finally built as much as a six-point lead on a couple of occasions. However, a Cassidy three-pointer at the buzzer closed the gap as Tech led 39-36 entering the halftime locker room.
The second half was a different story. With Tech leading 51-46 after UMBC guard Erin Brown hit a jumper at the 14:13 mark, Tech used a 7-0 run over the next minute with five of those points coming from sophomore guard Whitney Jones, who ended the contest with a game-high 21 points.
UMBC would never cut the lead to single digits again. With Tech leading 68-54 with 7:00 to play, the Lady Techsters used another mini-run to put the game away as Tech scored eight straight points with Adrienne Johnson and Shanavia Dowdell combining for all eight points.
Tech's biggest lead was 24 at 81-57.
One of the keys to LA Tech's second half was the play of Dowdell, who scored only four points on 2-of-8 shooting in the opening half. However, Dowdell scored 12 points in the second half as Tech used its size advantage to pull away from the Retrievers.
"She had a tough first half, but she delivered in the second half," Long said. "Our guards did a great job of getting the ball to Dowdell and to Adrienne Johnson. I also thought our guards did a good job of hitting shots when our posts kicked it out."
In addition to Jones' 21 points and Dowdell's 16 points and 10 rebounds, Johnson added 20 points and six rebounds while Jasmine Bendolph scored a career-high 10 points and added seven rebounds and four assists.