New game times. Same goal.
Due to all that white stuff outside, Louisiana Tech’s two-game series at Middle Tennessee has been pushed back a day. The two teams will face off on Saturday at 4 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Murphy Center in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
LA Tech (17-6 overall) remains in third in the West Division standings with a 10-4 conference record, but made up ground after sweeping previous division leader UAB this past weekend in Ruston.
Thanks to these two victories, the preseason goals of winning a division title and/or claiming a first-round bye in the C-USA Tournament are very much alive.
“These series have been a real challenge, especially on the road,” said head coach Eric Konkol. These games are tough, to be able to turn it around physically and mentally regardless of the outcome on the first night. This league is really deep. We are seeing great teams from top to bottom.”
The Bulldogs are plenty road-tested. They have played 10 games on the road this season and have a 4-3 mark in C-USA road games, tied for the most such wins with Marshall and WKU.
There are some impressive road victories too among those four. The ‘Dogs are the only team this season to win in Bowling Green, Kentucky versus the Hilltoppers. And they are the only team to win in Denton, Texas against the Mean Green.
In large part, it has been the play of their three underclassmen starters – sophomores Isaiah Crawford and Cobe Williams and seven-time C-USA Freshman of the Week honoree Kenneth Lofton, Jr.
The trio make up almost 50 percent of the team’s scoring during C-USA play and are three of the top four scorers during league action. Crawford paces the team with an average of 13.1 points per contest.
As for LA Tech’s next opponent Middle Tennessee, coach Konkol said you have to take their record (5-13 overall and 3-9 in C-USA play) and throw it out the window because the Blue Raiders are playing well as of late.
“You take a look at what they have done at home,” said Konkol. “Their last home stand, they swept Charlotte who is a very good team. They went to Marshall this past weekend and scored the ball well. They are playing with great balance and have a lot of versatility.”
The Blue Raiders are really good at a couple of things – defending the three (allowing opponents to shoot just 30.9 percent from deep) and taking the ball away (average 7.5 steals per contest).
They are led by Jordan Davis who has played and started in all 18 games. The Dayton transfer is averaging 11.7 points and has a team-high 33 assists and 29 steals.
Both games will be streamed live on ESPN+. Dave Nitz and Jack Thigpen will call the action on the LA Tech Sports Network.
Photo: credit Darrell James