Tech wrecked it. Louisiana Tech, that is.
With a 79-75 upset win over top-ranked Texas in the semifinals of the NCAA women's basketball tournament, the Techsters knocked the defending champion Longhorns out of contention, along with most of the hometown interest.
"Shucks," Texas Coach Jody Conradt said. "It was a tough ballgame, a good ballgame. Credit Louisiana Tech. They played great. People talk how they have not shot well lately, but you can't tell that by me."
With an Erwin Center crowd of 15,303 looking on--the largest single-game attendance in the sport's history-- the Techsters (30-2) shot 58.3% from the field, including 73.9% (17 of 23) in the second half. Nora Lewis and Tori Harrison (20 points each) led the way. Teresa Weatherspoon added 19 points and 11 assists, and Angela Lawson scored 12.
"We wanted to keep pressure on Teresa Weatherspoon to wear her down, but she wore us down," Conradt said. "She was still going strong at the end."
The fifth Tech starter, Stacey Davis, had just two points, but she still made a major contribution by holding All-American Andrea Lloyd to seven points on 2-of-9 shooting. Lloyd fouled out of her final game with 2:42 left.
"Can you reflect on your last game at Texas?" someone asked Lloyd at the postgame press conference.
She started to answer but stopped. The words wouldn't come out. Her tears said it all.
Clarissa Davis scored a game-high 24 points for Texas (31-2), and Beverly Williams had 23. It was all in vain, however, as the nation's longest winning streak was snapped at 25.
It is only fitting that Louisiana Tech, with 19 consecutive wins, would now lead the way. And this is not the first time the Techsters have knocked out the host school--Old Dominion got the same treatment in Norfolk, Va., in the 1983 semifinals.
"I thought we could come down here and beat Texas, but I didn't know if the kids believed that," Tech Coach Leon Barmore said. "When they game started, it was very evident to me that they did."
They have a spot in the NCAA championship game Sunday to prove it.