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Louisiana Tech wins fourth straight Sun Belt Tournament
Posted: Saturday March 06, 1999 09:06 PM
JONESBORO, Ark. (AP) -- Coach Leon Barmore wasn't surprised that No. 3 Louisiana Tech was able to put away a team as talented as Florida International.
"We're such a quick team, we can have spurts like that," Barmore said of the 17-0 Tech run that sealed Tech's 84-60 victory for the Sun Belt Conference Tournament championship. It was the fourth straight league title for the Lady Techsters (26-2)
Monica Maxwell scored 15 points for Louisiana Tech.
"I went in at halftime really down on myself," Maxwell said. "I thought I didn't play a very good first half."
The game was tied at 21 midway through the first half before Tech took a 42-30 halftime advantage.
Florida International (23-6) closed to 44-37 with 17:53 left in the game. But Louisiana Tech scored the next 17 points as the Golden Panthers went scoreless for five minute, giving Tech a 61-37 lead.
Florida International scored two quick baskets but Tech scored the next nine points to complete a 26-4 run and push its lead to 70-41 with 9:14 left.
Shaka Massey scored 14 points for the Lady Techsters. Betty Lennox scored 13 points while Amanda Wilson had 12 points and 11 rebounds.
Dalma Ivanyi led Florida International with 12 points and eight assists. Florida International's leading scorer and rebounder, Zuzana Michalcova, was held to seven points and three rebounds.
"We played a great team tonight," said Florida International coach Cindy Russo, whose team lost to Louisiana Tech for the third time this season. "We're not happy with our effort."
The Lady Techsters shot 49 percent from the field, including 58 percent in the second half (18-of-31), and outrebounded Florida International 43-31.
"Our basketball team is as focused as I've seen in a long, long time," Barmore said. "I don't think there's many people who could beat us this weekend. The rebounding was excellent."
Maxwell was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player. Teammates Amanda Wilson and Betty Lennox were named to the All-Tournament Team. They were joined by Florida International's Dalma Ivanyi and Zuzana Michalcova and Shea Lunsford of Western Kentucky.
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