This item originally appeared in the January 27, 2005 issue of The Tech Talk.
By BRIAN TYNES
A Western Athletic Conference record was set Saturday afternoon in Dallas when the Lady Techsters (11-4, 7-0 WAC) won their 23rd consecutive regular-season conference game over Southern Methodist University (13-4, 4-3).
The contest was only the second time this year SMU has failed to defend their house.
Erica Taylor returned to the court for the first time all season and highlighted her 11 minutes with five points and two steals.
Tech's head coach Kurt Budke said while it's great to have her back, expectations should be kept limited because she has been away from the game for so long.
"I still think it's going to be three or four weeks before she can play a solid 20 minutes," Budke said. "But an 80 percent Erica Taylor is better than most people's 100 percent,so I'll take what I can get."
Tech trailed most of the first half but closed out the first 20 minutes with five points to deadlock the score at 27 at the break.
The Techsters came out of the locker room on a 15-8 run and held a 12-point advantage with 1:40 to play and sealed the 69-62 win by hitting six free throws down the stretch.
Tasha Crain and Lakiste Barkus led Tech with 19 and 18 points, respectively, and Ty Moore had a game-high 13 rebounds.
Budke said he was pleased with his guard's play.
"Lakiste was chasing their shooters all night long," Budke said. "I thought she was very impressive for what she had to do defensively, and she didn't let it hurt her offensively."
Providing a spark of inspiration for the team was former head coach Leon Barmore, who traveled with the team and addressed them the Friday night.
Budke said Barmore is impressed with the progress this team has made.
"He's seen how much this team has grown from the start till now," Budke said.
"He said you have come a long way but don't be satisfied with what you've done because there's another step to take. If you want to be better players than you are now, it's time to take that step."