Courtesy of LA Tech Athletic Communications
Louisiana Tech rides a four-game winning streak into December as they open up the new calendar month with a home matchup against Southern.
Tipoff at the Thomas Assembly Center is set for 6 p.m. and the game can be heard on 107.5 FM and seen on ESPN+.
LA Tech (5-2) ended up going a perfect 3-0 in the Samford MTE last week, winning on the road against Alabama A&M and Samford before closing it out with a convincing 91-47 victory over UT Southern in a neutral site game.
All 12 Bulldogs that suited up scored in the win over the Firehawks, led by Keaston Willis and Dravon Mangum who each had 17 points. They combined to make eight of LA Tech’s 15 three-pointers, which set a new single-game program record for made threes in a non-home game.
Cobe Williams continues to lead the charge offensively, averaging 17.8 points per game, followed by Willis (13.7 points per game) and Isaiah Crawford (13.0 points per game). The Bulldogs currently have three of the top 11 scorers in Conference USA.
Defensively, LA Tech has now forced 138 turnovers this season, the most by any league team and the 24th most in the country. They have forced 20+ turnovers in five of the seven games, including the last three.
Not only are the ‘Dogs forcing turnovers, they are turning them into points having recorded at least 20 points off TOs in all seven games this season (averaging 22.7 points off turnovers per game).
After dropping its first three games of the season (all on the road on the west coast), Southern (3-4) has won three of its last four games against California, Loyola-MD, and most recently a 112-52 demolishing of Champion Christian in what was their first home game of the season.
The Jaguars, who were picked to finish third in the SWAC preseason poll, are one of four SWAC schools to defeat Pac-12 opponents this season. Southern won on the road at Cal while Grambling State defeated Colorado, Texas Southern downed Arizona State, and Prairie View A&M got past Washington State.
Bryson Etienne, one of two Jaguars voted to the Preseason All-SWAC team, has been the star for Southern so far this season. He is averaging 13.4 points per game, having knocked down a team-high 15 three-pointers. He is also averaging 3.0 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 2.1 steals per game.
Southern ranks in the top 10 in the country in steals per game (11.6) and turnovers forced per game (21.43). In two of their last three games, they have forced 31 turnovers.
Friday will mark the eighth meeting between LA Tech and Southern with the Bulldogs leading, 7-2. The two teams played a home-and-home in 2006 and 2007 and then played three consecutive years from 2013-15.
The ‘Dogs have won three straight in the series and are a perfect 4-0 at home against the Jags. The last meeting was an 83-76 victory in Ruston in 2015.
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