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Louisiana Tech Stops the Waves

March 24, 2003|From Associated Press

RUSTON, La. — Louisiana Tech owns the nation's longest active winning streak, and the Lady Techsters have never lost an NCAA women's basketball tournament game at home.

Neither mark seemed in jeopardy Sunday night.

Erica Smith scored 28 points as the fifth-seeded Lady Techsters defeated 12th-seeded Pepperdine, 94-60, in the first round of the West Regional.

Louisiana Tech (30-2) gained its 28th consecutive victory this season and improved their school record to 35-0 at home in the tournament.

On Tuesday, the Lady Techsters will play Ohio State (22-9), which defeated Weber State, 66-44, in the first round.

Tamara McDonald scored 16 points to lead Pepperdine (22-8), which was making its third tournament appearance in the past four years.

Trina Frierson added 21 points for Louisiana Tech, which had an eight-day layoff before Sunday's game. Amber Obaze scored 14, and Cheryl Ford added 10 points and 12 rebounds.

Pepperdine turned the ball over 20 times, compared with 11 for Louisiana Tech. Tech also had 10 steals and blocked five shots and outshot the Waves, 49% to 27%.

The Techsters led, 56-25, at halftime.

Tech and Tennessee are the only teams to have played in all 22 NCAA tournaments.

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