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Thursday’s game will air on ESPN+ with Chris Harris (play-by-play) and Mike Vining (analyst) on the call. The game will also be broadcast on 105.7 FM/540 AM KMLB, KMLB.com and the TuneIn app on the Warhawk Radio Network from Learfield with Mike Hammett on the play-by-play.
Thursday’s game is the 57th all-time meeting between ULM and LA Tech with the Lady Techsters leading the series, 46-10. LA Tech has won the last three meetings in the series, including a 63-45 win in Ruston last year on Dec. 17. The Lady Techsters won the last game in Monroe, 73-53, on Nov. 29, 2016. ULM last won in the series, 71-50, on Dec. 11, 2007, in Ruston. ULM’s last win at home against the Lady Techsters was a 58-54 win in the Taco Bell Classic on Dec. 8, 2006.
The height of the rivalry in women’s basketball came in the mid-1980s, when ULM, then Northeast Louisiana, and Louisiana Tech battled as two of the preeminent programs in women’s college basketball. ULM’s best stretch in the series came in the 1984-85 and 1985-86 seasons, where the then-Indians won four straight contests against the Lady Techsters, including an 85-76 win in Fant-Ewing Coliseum on March 24, 1985, which sent ULM to the only Final Four appearance in program history.
Through eight games, ULM (2-6 overall) is led by second-year freshman Kyren Whittington. The Folsom, Louisiana, native has started seven of eight games and is averaging a team-best 10.9 points per game. She also is averaging 1.6 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game. She has scored in double-figures five times, including a season-high 17 points at Southern Miss on Nov. 13.
In three games at the Van Chancellor Classic over the weekend, Whittington led ULM at 9.3 points per game. Fifth-year senior Kierra Crockett averaged 7.7 points and 8.3 rebounds per game, just missing a double-double on Sunday vs. Stephen F. Austin with 14 points and nine rebounds. True freshman Vici Woods averaged 6.0 points and 3.7 rebounds per game after posting her first career double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds vs. SFA.
Louisiana Tech is 4-2 entering Thursday’s game after splitting two games at the Rocky Mountain Hoops Classic in Boulder, Colorado. The Lady Techsters defeated Boise State, 60-57, before dropping Saturday’s game to Colorado, 59-48. LA Tech has lost both of its true road games this season, also falling in a contest at Ole Miss, 62-44, on Nov. 19.
The Lady Techsters have four players averaging double figures on the season. Keiunna Walker paces LA Tech at 17.7 points and 3.5 points per game. Anna Larr Roberson follows behind at 11.2 points and a team-best 8.2 rebounds per game. Amaya Brannon is averaging 10.7 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. Salma Bates, a transfer from Tulane, is averaging 10.0 points and 3.8 assists per game.
The Lady Techsters have benefited from a +7.7 turnover margin this season. LA Tech is averaging 13.8 turnovers per game while forcing their opponents into 21.5 turnovers per game.
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