LA Tech Wins 73-71 on McNeail's Career Night
Jan. 12, 2013
SAN ANTONIO, Texas - Guard Kenyon McNeail made his record-setting ninth three-pointer of the game with 19 seconds remaining in the contest to give Louisiana Tech (14-3, 5-0 WAC) the lead and the victory, 73-71, over UTSA (4-12, 0-6 WAC) on Saturday night at the Convocation Center.
With the victory, the Bulldogs completed a sweep in Texas which marks the first time since the 2001-02 season that they have won three straight road conference games. The loss was the Roadrunners sixth straight.
"I'm proud of the way we played in terms of intensity and in terms of fight," said head coach Michael White. "UTSA played great. Really credit them and their terrific game plan. We gave it our all out there. It was a game that we never really found a flow offensively or defensively outside of Kenyon McNeail."
McNeail poured in a career-high 34 points off the bench, including 9-of-15 from beyond the arc, tying the all-time Bulldog record for most made three's in a game and breaking the all-time record for most attempted.
"[McNeail] just took over," said coach White. "He's really been in the gym a lot. You are just happy for a kid who used to start, and now here he is coming off the bench and embracing his role to the best of his ability and doing whatever he can to help us win games."
The Roadrunners jumped out to an 8-0 lead early in the contest, but coach White quickly went to his bench for five different players, one of which was McNeail.
The Conway, Ark. native immediately hit four three-pointers in a row to give the Bulldogs their first lead, 12-10, with 15:34 to go in the half.
Fourteen lead changes followed, and UTSA made three of their 20 total free throws just before halftime to take the 36-35 lead into the break.
Another three-pointer by McNeail with 7:05 to go in the game gave LA Tech their largest lead, 63-55. However, the Roadrunners responded with a 6-0 run to cut into the deficit.
Up by three with 2:27 left, UTSA hit back-to-back three-pointers to regain the lead, 71-68, with 1:26 still to go.
After two made free throws by McNeail, the Bulldog defense forced a UTSA turnover and gave way to the hot-shooter who drained the three.
Coach White immediately called a timeout and another solid defensive effort forced a desperation three by UTSA, securing LA Tech's sixth straight win.
"We called the last timeout after Kenyon hit that last three, and we were able to talk about our defense," said White. "We subbed two guys out for guards and we tried to get our five best defensive guards in to defend the three-point line.
"I thought Chris Anderson really stepped up. He did a great job moving his feet without fouling. We almost created a turnover there, but forced a tough one. It was a huge defensive stop to win us the game."
As a team, LA Tech shot 47.3 percent from the field on 26-of-55 shooting. The Bulldog bench came up big again as they scored 54 of the team's 73 total points.
UTSA was led by Kannon Burrage who had a team-high 29 points, including a perfect 9-for-9 from the free throw line.
The Bulldogs return home to the Thomas Assembly Center to face Idaho on Thursday, Jan. 12 in a 6:05 p.m. tipoff to be broadcast live on ESPN Regional (ERT) and Cox Sports Television and streamed on ESPN3.
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