Dogs host Mean Green; Techsters in Denton

Keaston Willis (Courtesy Photo)

Courtesy of LA Tech Athletic Communications

North Texas at Bulldogs

Louisiana Tech is set to play a pair of conference home games this week, starting on tonight against North Texas. The Bulldogs will play four of its last six league games inside the Thomas Assembly Center on Karl Malone Court.

Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. and the game can be heard on the LA Tech Sports Network on 97.7 FM and the LA Tech Athletics app with Malcolm Butler and Jack Thigpen providing a call of the action. The game will also be streamed on ESPN+.

With six conference games remaining, LA Tech (13-12, 6-8)  is in a tie with WKU for seventh place (just one and a half games back of fourth).  The Bulldogs dropped both road games this past week, including a heartbreaking 90-85 overtime loss at league-leader Florida Atlantic on Saturday.

The Bulldogs managed to erase a 15-point deficit in the second half and force OT, but got outscored, 14-9, by the Owls in the extra frame.  It was the fourth overtime game of the season for the ‘Dogs, tied for the most in C-USA.

North Texas (21-5, 12-3) is currently second in the confer­ence standings at 12-3, just two games back of first. The Mean Green are riding a six-game winning streak and are coming off one of their most dominant performances of the year, which was a 67-43 victory over Charlotte.

UNT sports one of the top defenses in the country. The Mean Green are allowing just 55.6 points per game, the second best scoring defense in the nation behind only Houston. They also rank first in the conference in field goal percentage defense (40.3) and three-point field goal percentage defense (31.0).

LA Tech leads the all-time series with North Texas, 28-16.  In the first meeting this season, the Bulldogs erased an 18-point deficit to tie things up with 18 seconds to go, but Kai Huntsberry sank a midrange jumper with four seconds later that proved to be the game winner in a 67-65 win.

Over the last five seasons, 12 of the 13 games played between LA Tech and North Texas have been decided by seven points or less (and six of the 13 have been decided by two points or less).


Lady Techsters at North Texas

The Louisiana Tech women’s basketball team will play a pair of Conference USA road games this week, beginning with North Texas tonight at 6:30 p.m. in the Super Pit in Denton, Texas. The game can be seen on ESPN+. In addition, the live radio broadcast and live stats can be found on the LA Tech Athletics app.

Louisiana Tech (14-10, 7-7) swept a pair of conference home games last week over FIU and FAU in which they never trailed. LA Tech’s bench has continued to produce and reached double figures 22 times this season.

Keiunna Walker became the 11th player in program history, surpassing 1,800 career points, and is only five points away from cracking the all-time top 10. Walker has reached double figures in 22 of 24 games, including 18 straight, and is No. 2 in C-USA at 17.3 PPG.

LA Tech currently leads C-USA in field goal percentage (.451), three-point percentage (.338), and free throw percentage (.787). Defensively, Tech ranks second in scoring defense (60.5 PPG) and defensive FG% (.386). 

After a 3-6 start to conference play, North Texas (9-15, 6-8) picked up three wins in a row to even their conference record but have since dropped their last two matchups before welcoming LA Tech to the Super Pit.

Five of the Mean Green’s conference losses have been by single digits, including the last two against UAB (52-61) and Charlotte (61-69).

On the floor, UNT is led by last season’s C-USA Preseason Player of the Year, Quincy Noble. Noble, a 5-10 senior guard from McKinney, Texas, has been atop the league in scoring this year and ranks No. 3 at 16.8 PPG heading into Thursday’s matchup.

Tonight’s match-up will be the 21st overall meeting between the Techsters and the Mean Green and the second one this season. LA Tech took the first match-up in Ruston 81-66 to make it three in a row over North Texas.

LA Tech leads the overall series 16-4, winning the first 12 meetings from 1989-90 to 2017-18. North Texas took three of the next four before Tech swept the two-game set last season, giving the Techsters four of the previous five.

The Techsters have a 6-1 mark in Denton, with the Mean Green’s lone win in the Super Pit coming in the series’ only overtime game in 2019-20 (74-69).