Blue Raiders Pull Away from Bulldogs
Jan. 11, 2018
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Down just two at intermission, the Louisiana Tech men’s basketball team struggled on both ends of the floor in the second half which allowed Middle Tennessee to pull away in a final score of 72-57 on Thursday night inside the Murphy Center.
LA Tech (10-8, 1-4 C-USA) shot just 30 percent from the field while Middle Tennessee (12-4, 4-0 C-USA) shot 50 percent from the field in the final 20 minutes of action.
The Bulldogs were also out-rebounded 23-13 in the second stanza, including the Blue Raiders pulling down seven offensive boards and registering 11 second chance points.
Despite all of this, the ‘Dogs found themselves down just five (59-54) with five minutes to go in the game. From there though, the Blue Raiders finished the game on a 13-3 run.
“I thought Middle Tennessee really raised its level of intensity and physicality in the second half and we did not match that, especially on the interior,” head coach Eric Konkol said. “They really hurt us in the paint. I thought that was the difference in the game.
“We are going through some growing pains. Our conference schedule has put us on the road in some very challenging environments against very good teams. But we are battling. We are winning some battles, just not winning the war. There are some good things we can draw from this, but there are certainly things we have got to get better at.”
The first half was very different. It was all back-and-forth with eight ties and six lead changes.
The Bulldogs got their first lead at 5-4 after a Jacobi Boykins three-pointer. Their second lead came on another triple from Boykins to go up 20-19 with 7:34 to play in the first stanza, forcing a Middle Tennessee timeout.
The home team would grab the two-point edge going into the locker room after breaking the eighth tie with a made jumper by Nick King who was limited to just eight points through the first 20 minutes.
King, and his interior partner Brandon Walters, took control of the game in the second half though as they combined for 22 points and nine boards.
LA Tech finished the game going 21-of-57 from the field for 37 percent and 6-of-18 from three-point range for 33 percent. Three Bulldogs scored in double figures, led by DaQuan Bracey who fought through his back injury to net 16 points on 6-of-10 shooting.
Boykins ended up with 15 points and a team-high six boards. He made four threes, making him two shy of setting the LA Tech career record. Oliver Powell came off the bench to register 10.
MT went 26-of-53 from the field for 49 percent and 4-of-14 from deep for 29 percent. King led the way with a game-high 22 points and 10 rebounds. Walters added 18 points.
LA Tech now travels to Birmingham, Alabama to take on UAB on Saturday, Jan. 13. Tipoff is set for 4 p.m.
For all the latest in Bulldog Basketball, follow them on Twitter (@LATechHoops), Instagram (@LATechHoops) and Facebook (LATechMBB) or visit the official website at LATechSports.com.
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