Dogs sweep; Techsters host matinee

Courtesy of LA Tech Athletic Strategic Communications

Bulldogs 76, Southern Miss 62

HATTIESBURG, Miss. – Louisiana Tech made winning plays down the stretch to come away with a 76-62 victory over Southern Miss, sweeping the two-game series on Sunday afternoon inside Reed Green Coliseum.

“This was a very tight game,” said Tech head coach Eric Konkol. “A very hard-playing game by both teams.  I have great respect for Southern Miss and how hard they compete.  They really took advantage of a couple of different things.”

In a game that had 11 ties and eight lead changes, LA Tech (15-3, 6-0 C-USA) was up by three with five minutes remaining.  They proceeded to finish the game on a 16-5 run, including scoring the final nine points of the game to extend their winning streak to seven and remain unbeaten in conference play (best start to C-USA in program history).

“It was a nip and tuck game for a long time, but I thought our group really executed beautifully down the stretch, especially on the offensive end,” said Konkol. “It gave us a little bit more cushion and we were able to close the game out here on the road.”

The Bulldogs needed an 8-0 run, including a buzzer-beating three-pointer from the top of the key by Keatson Willis, to grab a 30-26 halftime advantage.

Southern Miss (5-11, 1-3 C-USA) made eight straight free throws early in the second half to match its largest lead of the contest, up four with 17:45 left.

Despite playing with three fouls, Kenneth Lofton, Jr. started to take over.  The power forward scored six straight points, including a smooth 18-foot jumper, to put LA Tech up 44-41 and force a USM timeout.

The lead expanded to 10, but the Golden Eagles would not go away, cutting the deficit down to three with 5:14 remaining.  However, Keaston Willis splashed in his fourth three-pointer of the game to make it a two-possession game. 

The Bulldogs ended making seven of their last eight field goal attempts.  Defensively, they held the Golden Eagles to just two points (free throws) in the final three-plus minutes.

LA Tech scored 46 second-half points, going 18-of-29 from the field (62.1 percent), 4-of-9 from beyond the arc (44.4 percent) and 6-of-7 from the foul line (85.7 percent) in the second stanza.

Junior scored a game-high 23 points.  Willis and Cobe Williams joined him in double figures with 14 and 12 points, respectively.  USM was held to 32.8 percent shooting for the game.  DeAndre Pinckney and Tyler Stevenson each registered 21 points.

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RUSTON, La. – The Louisiana Tech women’s basketball team returns to the court on Monday, Jan 17 when they face off with UTSA in Conference USA action inside the Thomas Assembly Center at 1 p.m.

The game can be heard on the LA Tech Sports Network (97.7 FM) as well as seen on CUSATV.com through a paid subscription.

The Lady Techsters are looking to bounce back from a 65-60 loss at Southern Miss this past Thursday in Hattiesburg, Miss. The Lady Techsters held a seven-point lead with 6:45 remaining in the contest before a 13-2 run pushed the Golden Eagles out in front for the win.

Junior Keiunna Walker led the way for Tech with 19 points and five rebounds, while dishing out three assists. Walker continues to lead the Lady Techsters in scoring and currently ranks fourth in the conference at 16.9 points per game. Walker also ranks fifth nationally in free throws attempted (107) and free throws made (85) this season, despite not making it to the line in this past Thursday’s game at Southern Miss.

Sophomore Anna Larr Roberson registered another double-double, her sixth of the year, with 15 points and 10 rebounds in the loss. She ranks second in the conference in double-doubles this season, trailing only Zakyia Weathersby of UAB (11). Roberson paces the Lady Techsters with 9.7 boards per game while contributing 13.2 points per game.

Tech continues to ranks as one of the best defensive teams in C-USA. The Lady Techsters rank third in scoring defense (57.7 ppg), tied for fourth in blocked shots (3.5 bpg) and in turnovers forced (19.7 tfpg) and sixth in steals (9.4 spg).

The Roadrunners will hit the road for the first time in conference actions as they travel to Ruston on Monday. They have played all four of their league contests inside the Convocation Center in San Antonio. The Roadrunners last played on the road on Dec. 20 against Texas A&M.

UTSA is led offensively by LaPraisjah Johnson at 10.0 points per game, while Jadyn Pimentel and Charlene Mass provide 8.8 and 7.6 points per game respectfully. Pimental currently leads the league with 45 steals and has dished out a team-high 37 assists. Queen Ulado leads the Roadrunners on the defensive end floor, pulling down 6.2 rebounds per contest.

Louisiana Tech and UTSA meet for the 20th times in women’s basketball as the Lady Techsters lead the all-time series 14-5. LA Tech is 5-2 all-time in games played in Ruston. LA Tech defeated UTSA twice in San Antonio last year (69-51 and 74-48).

Three of UTSA’s five wins in the series have come by two points or less and all three of those wins came on last second field goals. Tech has won the last three meeting between the two schools, but has not won inside the Thomas Assembly Center since Jan. 5, 2018.


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