Dogs, Techsters face UTEP

Courtesy of LA Tech Athletic Communications

UTEP at Bulldogs

After playing three straight on the road, Louisiana Tech is back at home on Thursday night to face UTEP at 6:30 p.m. inside the Thomas Assembly Center on Karl Malone Court.

The contest will be streamed on ESPN+. Tech fans can hear the broadcast on 107.5 FM with the pregame show starting at 6 p.m. Fans can also access it through the LA Tech Athletics app.

LA Tech (18-6, 9-3) is in a tie for second in the West Division standings after picking up its second straight road win, an 82-77 victory over Charlotte.  Four Bulldogs scored 14+ points and the team committed a season-low five turnovers (tied for fewest ever in a C-USA game for the program) and had a +12 turnover margin.

Kenneth Lofton, Jr. anchored the team in almost every statistical in Charlotte with 18 points, five rebounds, four assists and four steals.  The Naismith Trophy Midseason Team selection is averaging 19.7 points, 11.3 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 1.7 steals over his last six games.

After putting together a six-game winning streak, UTEP (14-10, 7-5) has dropped its last two games to North Texas and Marshall.  The Miners sit in fourth in the C-USA West Division standings.

UTEP is led by the two-headed monster of Souley Boum and Jamal Bieniemy.  Boum is averaging a league-best 19.7 points per game while Bieniemy is averaging 16.0 points per game.  The highest scoring duo in C-USA have combined to score 48 percent of their team’s points this season.

LA Tech leads the all-time series versus UTEP, 17-12.  The Bulldogs have won two straight, including a 64-52 win back on Jan. 6 in El Paso, Texas.  They have also won four of the last five and 10 of the last 13 meetings in the series.

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Lady Techsters at UTEP

Louisiana Tech heads back on the road after completing a four-game homestand to face off against UTEP for the second time in three games inside the Don Haskins Center in El Paso, Texas Thursday, Feb. 17 at 8:00 p.m.

Tech currently one game back of Southern Miss for first place in the C-USA West division standings.

Louisiana Tech (14-9, 6-6 C-USA) has now won six of their last eight but had their four game win streak snapped by Charlotte (59-56) last Saturday at home.

Tech, who battled back from as many as nine down to the East Division leaders, had a one-point lead with just over a minute remaining but could not answer on the final possession to see their recent red-hot streak come to an end. 

Tech beat this same UTEP squad in Ruston 68-65 after leading by as many as 19 in the third quarter. Three Techsters scored in double figures including Salma Bates with 11 to go along with Walker (17 points) and Roberson (12 points).

The Lady Techsters continue to be one of the top defensive teams in conference USA ranking No. 3 in scoring defense (58.6 ppg), No. 5 in blocked shots (3.3 bpg) and No. 5 in turnovers forced (18.2 tfpg).

The Techsters are averaging 66.2 ppg this season on 41.9 percent shooting and rank as the No. 1 team in conference USA in free-throw percentage (.764).

UTEP (13-10, 5-8) enters the weekend having lost three in a row including five of their last six, most recently falling to Marshall on the road, 60-48.

Three of their six losses (at FAU, Rice, at LA Tech) have been by three points or less.  The Miners do however, hold wins this season over Middle Tennessee, Old Dominion, and UTSA (twice) and North Texas and are 9-3 at home this season.

UTEP is led by double-digit scoring tandem junior Destiny Thurman (12.9 ppg) and sophomore Katia Gallegos (11.7).

Louisiana Tech and UTEP will meet for the 24th time in program history with LA Tech holding a 15-8 advantage. Tech is 6-5 in games played in El Paso.

The series has historically been one of runs with Tech winning the first nine meetings dating back to 2001-02. UTEP then won six of the next seven followed by four Tech wins in a row and then followed by back-to-back UTEP wins.

LA Tech won the last meeting a week ago in Ruston, 68-65


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