Dogs give Konkol birthday gift

Louisiana Tech head coach Eric Konkol celebrated his 45th birthday on Wednesday.

Konkol’s Bulldogs gave him a nice gift as Keaston Willis hit seven three-pointers to lead Louisiana Tech to a 96-74 win over ULM Wednesday night at the Thomas Assembly Center.

Happy birthday, Coach.

After a strong shooting performance this past Friday at Northwestern State, LA Tech (4-1) got even hotter against its I-20 foe in what was the second game of the Lanky Wells Classic.  The Bulldogs shot a blistering 54.7 percent from the field, 48.1 percent from long range and sank 25 free throws. 

It was another fast start just like against the Demons as well.  The Bulldogs opened with a quick 7-0 run thanks to back-to-back dunks by Kenneth Lofton, Jr. and Cobe Williams, followed by the first of seven triples by Willis who finished with a season-high and game-high 22 points. 

 The transfer from Incarnate Word drilled two more late in the first half (one of which was an and-one) as part of a 16-5 run to close out the stanza, giving the ‘Dogs a commanding 46-26 lead at intermission.

“The season is really a marathon, but the game is a sprint,” said Konkol. “Any type of sprint, you want to get out of the blocks fast.  You want to establish yourself in the game.  We talked about our energy and our effort, and making the type of plays that can really snowball into really good plays.  The team did a really nice job of getting off to a good start defensively and sharing the basketball.  We got a lot of really good looks.”

The halftime break did not cool him off.  He came out and hit two more in the first three minutes of the second half, putting the Bulldogs well ahead at 56-30 and well on their way to their fourth straight win.

While the threes were raining from the perimeter, Kenneth Lofton, Jr. was doing his usual work down low with his third straight double-double (season-high 19 points and 12 rebounds).  Amorie Archibald matched his season-high with 17 points and Cobe Williams tallied a season-high 14 points to give the Bulldogs four players in double figures. 

Tech improved to 55-36 all-time against ULM.

Photo: Sadie Patton

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