Jan. 4, 2014
RUSTON - Program records fell on Saturday evening inside the Thomas Assembly Center as Louisiana Tech cruised to a 126-52 victory over Longwood in what was the last game prior to Conference USA play.
Seven different Bulldogs scored in double-figures en route to the most points ever scored in a single game and the second largest margin of victory ever.
"I am really proud of our guys with the mentality that they had tonight," said head coach Michael White. "Their approach was fantastic. We knew that Longwood had won at TCU and we beat that into our guy's heads as much as possible.
"I am very surprised that we won in the fashion that we did. I guess it just goes to show you that we can beat a lot of teams if we shoot the ball like that. We were very unselfish and turned down average shots to get really good shots. It was as good of an offensive performance that I have been associated with."
LA Tech (12-3) jumped all over Longwood (5-10) from the tip, blowing up the stat sheet with unreal offensive numbers.
For the game, the Bulldogs shot 42-of-76 (55 percent) from the field, including a new program record 17 made three-pointers.
Kenyon McNeail's fifth three with six seconds left sealed the most points record that had stood since 1973 when the Mike Green-led Bulldogs scored 123 at Southern Miss.
It was not just the contested shots LA Tech was making. They were also lights out from the charity stripe, opening up the game with 23 straight made free throws.
The Bulldogs opened up a 19-6 lead to start the game behind the scoring prowess of Raheem Appleby who had 11 of the team's points.
The lead extended to 43-12 after McNeail hit back-to-back three-pointers en route to his game-high 21 points. The Bulldog defense held the Lancers scoreless for over six minutes prior to a made jumper by Karl Ziegler with 3:55 to go in the first half.
With nine minutes still to go in the game, Kenneth Smith got in on the three-point action hitting a corner tray to reach the century mark. He also added six dishes, becoming only the fifth Bulldog to reach 400 career assists.
Appleby finished with 18 points. Alex Hamilton continued to show off his playmaking skills by notching his second career double-double with 14 points and a career-high 12 assists.
"We will be off tomorrow and then we will regroup and have some conversation on the film, learn what we can from this game and start looking forward to those Florida teams coming to the TAC, our first competitions in Conference USA," said White. "We are excited about the opportunities and we know we have to continue to improve but I do think overall there is a confidence level that is higher than what we have had in the locker room since we have been here.
"Hopefully they feel like they are peaking because I feel like we are. With that being said we cannot allow complacency to creep in. We have to continue what we are doing."
Longwood was led by Ziegler who recorded 14 points. Jeylani Dublin added 13.
LA Tech opens up C-USA play on Thursday at home versus Florida Atlantic. Tipoff time is set for 6:30 p.m. inside the Thomas Assembly Center.
For complete coverage of LA Tech Men's Basketball, please follow @LATechHoops on Twitter or visit the official home of Louisiana Tech Athletics at www.LATechSports.com.