Griffin, Hamilton Carry Bulldogs to Overtime Victory
Jan. 9, 2016
RUSTON – There was a case of déjà vu on Saturday night.
Last season, it took overtime for Louisiana Tech to come away with a victory at Charlotte.
It happened again, this time in the Thomas Assembly Center, with the Bulldogs getting a career-high 28 points from Dayon Griffin and 27 from Alex Hamilton to take down the 49ers, 93-90, in front of 4,209 fans.
After a season-low shooting performance in the last game which ended the 39-game home winning streak, LA Tech (13-3, 2-1 C-USA) turned around two days later and shot a season-high 57 percent from the field.
“It was such a contrast of our game Thursday night,” head coach Eric Konkol said. “It was an up and down game. We needed to outscore them because we had a hard time stopping them. We were really concerned about their three-point shooting. We were able to make them shoot a lower percentage than they are used to, but their offensive rebounding is a different thing.
“They play such a unique style with those four guards, they were a tough cover. I am really proud of our guys for sticking with each other. We got behind early, but made enough plays to come away with a win at the end.”
Included in that high percentage was 14 made three-pointers, tied for the fifth most in program history, and the Bulldogs needed all 14 of them to outlast Charlotte’s (4-11, 1-2 C-USA) dominance in the paint that generated 49 rebounds and 50 paint points.
The 14th three-pointer came via the hot-handed Griffin, going 10-of-11 from the field and 7-of-8 from beyond the arc, to pull the ‘Dogs within one after the 49ers opened overtime with back-to-back layups from Andrien White.
From that point on, the offensive slugfest turned into a defensive fight as LA Tech held its opponent to just 1-of-12 shooting.
Meanwhile, a driving layup by Hamilton and four clutch free throws from the senior aided the Bulldogs second victory this season that went into an extra period with Charlotte missing on two game-tying three-point attempts.
It seemed like LA Tech was making everything, except for free throws. Up 83-81 with 42 seconds left in the second half, both Hamilton and Derric Jean missed the front end on one-and-ones opening the door for Charlotte to tie it up on a layup by Jon Davis with 17 seconds that ultimately put five more minutes on the clock.
Charlotte had all of the momentum early on with a 25-15 lead eight minutes into the game. That was when the Bulldogs started to find an offensive rhythm, making five straight shots to go on a 12-1 run to take their first lead of the game.
The lead seesawed for the remainder of the first half until Charlotte’s Braxton Ogbueze hit a three at the buzzer to give the 49ers a 40-38 edge at intermission.
Hamilton and Griffin, who combined to play 85 minutes of action, did more than just make 10 field goals apiece. Hamilton added eight assists and five rebounds while Griffin had a career-high seven boards and four assists. More importantly, they only had two turnovers between them.
Erik McCree was the third Bulldog to score in double digits with 13 points.
Charlotte ended up taking 21 more shots in the game, finishing 36-of-82 from the field for 44 percent. The 49ers had five players in double figures, led by Davis who had 24. Ogbueze added 22 and the big-man Joseph Uchebo registered 18 points and 20 rebounds (11 offensive).
LA Tech now heads back to the state of Florida to take on FIU on Thursday, Jan. 14. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. CT.
For all the latest in Bulldog Basketball, follow them on Twitter (@LATechHoops), Instagram (@LATechHoops) and Facebook (LATechMBB).
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