|Thomas Assembly Center|
The Thomas Assembly Center has been home to the Louisiana Tech Bulldog and Lady Techster basketball teams since it opened in November of 1982.
It has also served as the home arena for the Lady Techster volleyball program since the program's inception in 1987.
The 8,000-seat Thomas Assembly Center received a new state-of-the-art Maplewood floor in the summer of 2007 thanks to the generous donation of Bulldog legend Karl Malone. Aptly named the Karl Malone Court, the hardwood is made of the same material that all NBA practice facilities boast.
In a continuing effort to improve the game-day atmosphere, a high definition video display board -- known as Paul Millsap Vision presented by Origin Bank -- was installed by Daktronics in the fall of 2013. The $1.2 million project also included four LED center hung video displays (7.3 by 11.4), two LED ribbon board displays (2 x 45.8 and 2 x 61.4), four new corner courtside displays (2 video displays, 2 standard scoreboard displays with messaging centers), a customized sound system and a video board control room which is utilized for both basketball and football.
The Thomas Assembly Center recently celebrated its 30-year anniversary and has continually proven to be one of the toughest arenas in the country for opposing collegiate basketball teams to play in on both the men's and women's sides.
The nationally-renowned Lady Techster basketball program has dominated their opposition for over three decades in the Thomas Assembly Center, winning an amazing 87 percent of their games while posting a mark of 443-68 (500th game coming on Dec. 2, 2015 versus Prairie View A&M). The win-loss record is unmatched by any other women's basketball program nationwide.
It has been home to 25 NCAA Tournament teams, the 1988 National Champion, 16 Kodak All-Americans and the winningest coach in the history of the game in Hall of Famer Leon Barmore.
During the course of the program's history in the TAC, the Louisiana Tech Lady Techsters have put together some incredible winning streaks including:
- winning 161 straight games vs. unranked opponents (starting with a 79-66 win over Western Kentucky in 1991-92 and ending with a 71-65 overtime loss to Illinois in 2004-05)
- winning 114 straight regular season conference games (starting with a 79-66 win over Western Kentucky in 1991-92 and ending with a 68-47 loss to Boise State in 2006-07)
The Lady Techsters have also boasted some of the top attendance numbers in the nation during their times, including 15 crowds of more than 7,000 and eight crowds of more than 8,000. On numerous occasions the Lady Techsters have ranked among the nation's Top 40 in home attendance, including a program record 5,330 in 1982-83.
Both the Lady Techsters and Bulldogs played before a Thomas Assembly Center record 8,975 fans in a double header sweep of I-20 rival UL-Monroe (formerly Northeast Louisiana) on Jan. 22, 1985.
The Lady Techsters have posted 13 perfect seasons in the Thomas Assembly Center, and won a program record 19 home games in 1988-89. Tech is 36-0 all-time at the TAC in NCAA Tournament games.
However, the Lady Techsters aren't the only program to have dominated in the Assembly Center as the Bulldog basketball team has had its share of winning tradition at home.
Since 1982, numerous Bulldog basketball teams have seen success on the hardwood from Andy Russo's early-1980s Dunkin' Dogs featuring NBA Hall of Famer Karl Malone all the way through the new millennium under Michael White and now current head coach Eric Konkol.
Tech has posted a remarkable 341-95 mark in the Thomas Assembly Center for an impressive winning percentage of 78.2 after posting a 16-1 mark during the 2015-16 season, one victory shy of tying for the best home record which was set the previous season. LA Tech has recorded 31 (out of 34) winning seasons at home since 1982.
NBA greats such as Malone, P.J. Brown, Randy White and Paul Millsap have all called the Thomas Assembly Center home during their collegiate careers.
The Mailman led Louisiana Tech to a Top 10 national ranking in 1984-85 when the Bulldogs posted a 29-3 mark, including a perfect 14-0 at the Thomas Assembly Center, and a spot in the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16.
After losing their first ever home game at the Assembly Center, Tech reeled off a program-record 40 straight wins covering three seasons as Malone and Co. dominated the Southland Conference on its way to three straight league titles.
Malone, White and Brown all took their turn leading the Bulldogs to eight straight 20-plus win seasons (1983-1992) and national postseason appearances including five NCAA Tournaments and three NIT appearances.
A decade later Bulldog fans were privileged enough to watch Paul Millsap win three straight NCAA rebounding titles, the first player in Division I history to accomplish this feat.
And in the past five seasons behind the play of Speedy Smith, Raheem Appleby, Michale Kyser and Alex Hamilton, the arena has been not one of, but the toughest place in the country for opponents to win. Since February of 2012, the 'Dogs are 65-2 in the TAC which is the highest winning percentage (.970) of any team in the country during that span.
The Lady Techster volleyball team has also called the Assembly Center home since 1987 as Tech has played nearly every season in the Thomas Assembly Center. The TAC has seen the Lady Techsters go on to have seven separate winning seasons including a school best 29-10 season in 1992.
Now entering its third decade, the Techster volleyball program is led by Adriano de Souza.
Lady Techster legends such as Katie Dow Kahmann, Jamie Shanks, Courtney Ziegenbien, Sharla Richardson and even more recently in Christinne Sant'anna and Shannon Phillips have all called the Thomas Assembly Center home for their college careers.
From the East on I-20
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