Bulldogs on road; Techsters reschedule due to C19

From LA Tech Athletic Comm Staff Reports

While the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs were in the air making their way to El Paso on Wednesday, the Lady Techsters coaches and administrators were juggling schedules.

At the end of the day, both teams will play this week or weekend, barring any more Covid-19 issues.

The Lady Techsters saw both of the originally scheduled home games against UTEP and UTSA postponed due to virus issues within those two programs. So Wednesday Tech and Southern Miss (the Golden Eagles were also slated to play UTEP and UTSA this week) agreed to move up their Jan. 16 game in Ruston to this Sunday instead.

Tech and Southern Miss will tip off Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Thomas Assembly Center. Anyone with tickets to the originally scheduled Jan. 16 match-up between the two teams should use that ticket for this Sunday’s game.

Tech officials said that the school is still working with UTSA, UTEP and Conference USA to find dates where the postponed games from this week can be made up at a later time.

Meanwhile the Bulldogs landed safely in El Paso Wednesday afternoon and are scheduled to tipoff at the Don Haskins Center tonight at 9 p.m. CT. It will be Tech’s first true road game since Dec. 4.

The contest can be heard on the LA Tech Sports Network on 107.5 FM with Malcolm Butler providing the call of the action. It can also be heard through the LA Tech Athletics app. The game will be televised live on CBS Sports Network.

LA Tech (11-3, 2-0) improved to 2-0 in C-USA play after overcoming a 17-point deficit to defeat WKU, 74-73, on New Year’s Day Saturday.  The Bulldogs found themselves down 17 with 15:52 left in the second half (and down 12 with 3:05) to play), but they ended up matching the largest comeback victory in Thomas Assembly Center history.

Cobe Williams, the C-USA Player of the Week, scored 18 points against the Hilltoppers, including eight straight with under a minute remaining.  Two of those made field goals were three-pointers (had a career-high four triples).  This performance was preceded by his career-high 22 points versus Marshall.

Kenneth Lofton, Jr. recorded his seventh double-double of the season with 22 points and 11 rebounds against WKU.  He ended up making a career-high 10 free throws, including two with five seconds left, to help win the game.

Williams up his scoring average to 9.2 points per game, behind only Lofton, Jr. (17.5), Amorie Archibald (13.7) and Keaston Willis (11.4).  The Bulldogs currently rank second in the league and 33nd in the country in scoring offense at 80.1 points per game.   

UTEP (7-6, 0-1) lost its first Conference USA game of the season a week ago, falling 75-62 at UAB.  The Miners return home where they are 5-3 this season.

They rank second in the league and 32nd in the country in turnover margin at +3.9.  They force 16.3 turnovers per game, having forced at least 15 in nine of their 13 games.  They are also one of the best free throw shooting teams in the nation at 76.1 percent.

Guard Souley Boum, a Third Team All-Conference USA selection last season, leads the team in scoring at 19.9 points per game.  He has scored 20+ points in five games this season and has made 62 free throws, 18th most in the country.  Keonte Kennedy and Jamal Bieniemy are also averaging double figures at 13.3 and 12.5 points per game, respectively.

LA Tech leads the all-time series over UTEP, 16-12.  The Bulldogs are 9-4 against the Miners since becoming Conference USA opponents. 

Thursday will mark the fourth straight meeting in El Paso between LA Tech and UTEP.  The two teams played twice in El Paso last season with the Miners winning the first game, 82-74, and the Bulldogs taking the second game, 73-55.