No. 8 Louisiana Tech Outlasts Tulsa in WAC Semifinals, 57-42
March 8, 2002
TULSA, Okla. (AP) - Winning has almost become tradition for Louisiana Tech.
The eighth-ranked Lady Techsters won their 19th straight conference tournament game Friday, beating Tulsa 57-42 in the semifinals of the Western Athletic Conference.
Louisiana Tech won six straight Sun Belt Conference championships before moving to the WAC this season.
Brooke Lassiter scored 14 points, including eight free throws in the final two minutes for the top-seeded Lady TECHsters (24-4), winners of 22 of their last 23 games.
Louisiana Tech will play Hawaii for the championship Saturday. Third-seeded Hawaii beat Rice 59-36 in the other semifinal.
"I'm not surprised Hawaii won," said Louisiana Tech coach Leon Barmore. "But I'm surprised they won by that margin. That gives them a lot of confidence.
"It should be a good final."
Against Tulsa (17-13), who got 16 points from Becky Heidotten, Louisiana Tech led the entire second half, but didn't get a comfortable lead until hitting 11 of 12 free throws in the final 1:40.
The Lady Techsters shot just 32 percent, but held Tulsa to 28 percent.
Ayana Walker, who scored nine points for Louisiana Tech, stifled Tulsa sharpshooter Leela Farr all afternoon. Farr was just 1-of-11 from the floor and had seven points.
"Farr is an excellent shooter when left open," Barmore said. "Walker's defense on her was the key to the ballgame. It was an excellent defensive game on our part."
Louisiana Tech broke out of a 16-16 tie in the first half with an 8-0 run, punctuated by a 3-point shot by Lassiter.
The Lady Techsters led at halftime 24-19. Tulsa cut it to 26-24 early in the second half, but never tied the score. A driving layup by Essence Perry and a three-point play by Cheryl Ford pushed the lead to 31-24, and Tech was not threatened thereafter.
Ayana Walker added nine points for the Lady Techsters. Carla Morrow had 12 for the Golden
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