Dogs host reigning WAC champs tonight at TAC

Courtesy Photo

Courtesy of LA Tech Athletic Communications

Louisiana Tech looks to bounce back tonight as the Bulldogs play host to reigning WAC regular season champion Stephen F. Austin on national television. Fans are encouraged to wear red as part of the annual “Red Out” game.

Tipoff at the Thomas Assembly Center is set for 6 p.m. and the game can be heard on 107.5 FM and via the LA Tech Athletics app. It can also be seen on ESPNU.

Tonight marks the 15th meeting all-time between LA Tech and Stephen F. Austin with the series being knotted up at 7-7. The 14 meetings have been scattered throughout the years, first playing twice to open the 1939-40 season. The two squads last played a home-and-home in 2017-18 with the road team winning both times.

The Bulldogs have won five of the last six meetings, including a 96-93 overtime victory in Nacogdoches in 2018.

LA Tech (6-3) had their five-game winning streak come to an end with a 92-65 loss at Wyoming this past Saturday. A nine-minute stretch in the first half was the difference in the game as the Cowboys went on a 23-5 run.

Despite the loss, the Bulldogs made 10 three-pointers in the matchup. They currently rank second in Conference USA and 24th in the country in three-pointers made per game at 9.9. They have made at least nine threes in seven of their nine games (averaging 11.4 made triples over there last five games).

David Green had his breakout game of the season in Laramie, coming off the bench to score a career-tying 21 points. In only 16 minutes played, the forward went 7-of-9 from the field and 4-of-5 from beyond the arc, becoming the fifth Bulldog this season to score at least 20 points in a single game.

In recent history, LA Tech has done a good job of bouncing back from losses. The ‘Dogs have suffered back-to-back defeats only four times over the last three-plus seasons. Even more impressive, they are 42-1 over the last decade when playing at home immediately following a road/neutral site loss.

Stephen F. Austin (5-4) has been up-and-down this season, winning three of its first four games followed by a stretch of losing three of four games. The Lumberjacks cracked the .500 bar­rier this past Sunday with a lopsided 103-40 victory at home against Paul Quinn.

SFA played in the Western Athletic Conference for the first season last year, claiming the WAC regular season title with a 14-4 league mark. The Lumberjacks were picked to finish third in the 2022-23 WAC preseason rankings behind Grand Canyon and New Mexico State.

Offensively, SFA ranks 28th in the country in field goal percentage at 47.4. Defensively, they excel at turning people over, ranking fourth in the country in forced TOs at 18.06 per game.

The Lumberjacks get contributions from ev­eryone as seven different players average at least eight points per game. They are an­chored by the trio of Sadaidriene Hall, Latrell Jossell, and Nigel Hawkins who average 12-13 points per game. Hall was an All-WAC Pre­season Second Team selection.