LA Tech Overpowers FIU, 85-51, for Sixth Straight Win
Jan. 11, 2014
RUSTON - No Raheem Appleby. No problem.
Louisiana Tech used a monster 22-0 run in the first half and double-doubles from Michale Kyser and Jaron Johnson to overpower FIU, 85-51, on Saturday night in front of 4,236 fans inside the Thomas Assembly Center.
The victory was the sixth straight for LA Tech (14-3, 2-0 C-USA) who needed someone off the bench to score in place of its leading scorer Appleby, and tonight that was Jaron Johnson.
"We were solid offensively and we did just enough," said head coach Michael White. "Jaron Johnson had a phenomenal game. Twenty offensive rebounds gave us a chance offensively and also we caused turnovers. Defensively I thought we were very good. Every night this team has to hang their hat on defensive effort, even with Raheem out."
The senior guard produced a career-night with 18 points and 11 rebounds which also included a few highlight reel dunks.
Kyser continued his progression as a key contributor on offense with 11 points. On the other end he was a defensive force as usual, registering 11 rebounds and three blocks.
"I hope that [his growth] continues and I always had faith that he could play at that level," said White. "Teams will be gunning for him. He is a talented guy who continues to progress and continues to gain maturity and confidence." The 51 points was a season-low for FIU (9-8, 1-1 C-USA) who managed only 35 percent shooting from the field.
The Bulldogs then went ice cold on offense with 10 straight missed field goals and three missed free throws, giving FIU the opportunity to take a 22-19 advantage.
Two made free throws from Kyser and then an old-fashioned three-point play by J. Johnson kick-started a 22-0 run that essentially put the game away.
The stifling defense of LA Tech forced 18 turnovers by the Panthers, the 12th time this season they have forced at least 15 and they are a perfect 12-0 in those games.
Hamilton ended the night with 16 points. Kenyon McNeail came off the bench to record 12 points and Anderson marked the fifth Bulldog in double-figures with 11.
For the game, the Bulldogs connected on 28-of-67 field goal attempts for 41.8 percent.
FIU was led by Tymell Murphy and Dennis Mavin who registered 13 and 12 points, respectively.
LA Tech hits the road to take on in-state and conference foe Tulane in New Orleans on Thursday, Jan. 16 at 8 p.m. The game will be broadcast on Cox Sports Television.
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.
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