Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Debra Rodman Basketball: Debra Rodman Louisiana Tech Two-time National Champion

Debra Rodman Basketball: Debra Rodman Louisiana Tech Two-time National Champion - Debra Rodman Louisiana Tech, Western Kentucky University women’s basketball team returns home Wednesday night to host long-time rival Louisiana Tech in the 27th Annuall BB&T Classic game at Diddle Arena. WKU is looking for its fifth-straight win the series.

The Lady Toppers have won four straight meetings against Louisiana Tech – their longest winning streak in the 37-game history of the series between the two schools.

WKU has earned five of its 13 wins in the series with Louisiana Tech since 2002. Lady Topper head coach Mary Taylor Cowles is 5-1 in her career against the Lady Techsters.

For the 27th consecutive season, Branch Bank & Trust will sponsor the “BB&T Classic” tonight. From 1983-91, the event was a four-team competition known as the Bowling Green Bank Invitational. The Lady Toppers won seven of the nine invitational championships, including the final six. Since 1992, it has been contested as a single game. Since the single-game format began, the Lady Toppers are 13-4 in the Classic.

For WKU sophomore center Jasmine Johnson, Wednesday’s game provides another opportunity to literally follow in her mother’s footsteps. Johnson’s mom Debra Rodman lettered four seasons for Louisiana Tech from 1980-84, where she was part of two national championship teams (1981-82). She also played in the first game of what has become a long history between WKU and Louisiana Tech, scoring 16 points and pulling down nine rebounds in a 82-50 Lady Techster victory on Dec. 3, 1983 in the championship game of the Lady Techster Dial Classic.

A Yearly Occurrence – WKU and Louisiana Tech have met every year except one since the 1991-92 season. The first nine years of that stretch were when both teams were members of the Sun Belt Conference. Since Louisiana Tech left for the Western Athletic Conference following the 2000-01 campaign, the teams have met annually except for a one-year break during the 2003-04 season.

Duck Rises Up – After struggling offensively in the last few games, senior forward Dominique Duck broke through with a game and season-high 17 points Sunday at Vanderbilt. Nine of those points came in the second half before she was forced to leave the game with a minor injury. Efficient from the field, Duck hit eight of 12 shots, and also pulled down four rebounds in 28 minutes.

McNear Shows Dramatic Flair Again – After hitting four game-winning or trying shots last season, junior guard Amy McNear continued her clutch play Sunday as she knocked down a jumper with just over five seconds left to tie the game and force overtime at Vanderbilt. Last season, McNear hit game-winning shots against Louisiana Tech, Florida Atlantic and South Alabama. She also hit a three to force overtime before knocking down the game winner against USA.

Brown Back In Double-Double Mode – For the second time this season and third time this season, senior Arnika Brown posted a double-double as she went for 11 points and a game-high 11 rebounds at Vanderbilt. Brown has now posted double-digit rebounds in six of WKU’s seven games, but had not put that together with a double-figure scoring performance since finishing with 17 points and 11 boards at South Dakota State.

Magley Continues Steady Play – Senior Jessica Magley again had one of her better all-around games against Vanderbilt, scoring in double figures for the first time this season with 10 points, while also pulling down seven rebounds. Magley went 5-for-8 from the field in 24 minutes of action. In the last three games, Magley is 12 for 27 from the field (44.4 percent), scoring 25 points and pulling down 16 rebounds over that stretch of games.

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