UNT next for Tech hoopsters; Soccer opens here tonight

Louisiana Tech’s basketball teams collide with North Texas in this week’s Conference USA series, with the Lady Techsters at home Friday night and Saturday afternoon while the Bulldogs visit CUSA’s leaders.

The Tech women’s soccer team resumes its pandemic-delayed season Wednesday night, hosting Northwestern State at 6 at the Ruston Sports Complex. It’s the first contest since Halloween for the Techsters (2-1) while NSU makes its 2020-21 debut after reaching the Southland Conference finals in 2019.

The Dunkin’ Dogs visit the Mean Green Friday night at 7 in Denton. They play again Saturday at 1 in UNT’s Super Pit.

LA Tech (14-5 overall, 7-3 in C-USA) stands fourth overall in conference play, third in C-USA West Division behind UAB (14-2, 7-1) and North Texas (9-5, 5-1).

“North Texas is a really, really good team,” said Bulldog boss Eric Konkol. “They are very balanced starting with Javion Hamlet, the reigning Conference USA Player of the Year, at the point. They are a very good, stingy defensive team. They are very physical on the ball.

“They are a team that is tough to score on and you can see it in some of their scores. They held a Conference USA team to 33 points. They are a senior-laden team that has a lot of experience and they are 7-0 at home. This is a great challenge for us, and with that a great opportunity in divisional play in February.”

Bulldogs forward Kenneth Lofton Jr. was voted the C-USA Freshman of the Week after averaging 12.0 points and shooting 85 percent from the floor in Tech’s two triumphs last week over Southern Miss.

After splitting last week with USM, winning at home by 17, the Lady Techsters stand 10-6 overall and 5-5 in C-USA action. The first game of two in the Thomas Assembly Center is Friday night at 6:30 followed by Saturday afternoon at 4 in the TAC. UNT, 8-3 overall and 5-1 in the conference, was unable to play the last two weekends because of Covid-19 issues of opponents.

“They are very good. This year, they have been very efficient offensively. They are in the top five in the majority of the offensive categories in conference,” said Lady Techsters coach Brooke Stoehr. “We have to attack offensively and take care of the basketball.

“We are excited about the opportunity to play at home this week. It is February and we have to start lining ourselves up to be playing our best basketball. We have not played our best basketball yet and that gives you a little hope. I would also like to start seeing us trend that way and I thought we did that at times last week, especially on Thursday (in the homecourt win).”

Photo: Donny J Crowe

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