Bulldogs Fall on the Road to Panthers

Jan. 14, 2016

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MIAMI – Louisiana Tech could not keep up with hot-shooting FIU as the Bulldogs fell on the road to the Panthers, 88-74, on Thursday night inside FIU Arena.

Against a solid front court, LA Tech (13-4, 2-2 C-USA) was able to crash the glass which resulted in a season-high 18 offensive rebounds. However, the largest run the team could muster was a 5-0 run due to FIU’s (9-8, 2-2 C-USA) ability to make shots.

The Panthers ended up shooting 57 percent from the field and 50 percent from three-point range, led by Donte McGill who scored a game-high 29 points, 23 of which came in the first half.

“They have three really good scorers that have scored well for them all year long,” head coach Eric Konkol said. “We were able to limit [Adrian] Diaz and I was happy with that. It is just that the other two had really good games, in particular [Donte] McGill. He got them off to such a hot start.

“I think there is a combination of a lot of things. I think some of it was effort, but a lot of it was execution. It can be a foot here in there with positioning and where we need to be. We need to retool and get better.”

The Bulldogs have had three comebacks this season after trailing by double digits and were in situation where they had to try for No. 4.

They found themselves down double-digits for the first five minutes of the second stanza, but a three-pointer from Alex Hamilton and an offensive putback by Dayon Griffin pulled the team to within seven, 61-54, with 13:29 to play and forced an FIU timeout.

But as was the case for much of the game, the Panthers responded with a 5-0 run of their own to erase the mini-run of the ‘Dogs which would never get any closer.

FIU never trailed in the game, thanks in large part to making eight of its first 10 shots to give them an early 20-11 lead.

“We definitely want to get off to a good start, especially on the road because the home team feels very confident and comfortable in their environment,” Konkol said. “We need to do a better job in the beginning of the game to get stops and turn them into good offensive plays.”

LA Tech shot 41 percent from the field and 25 percent from beyond the arc. Dayon Griffin led the Bulldogs with 16 points. Alex Hamilton and Merrill Holden also scored in double digits with 13 and 11 points, respectively.

Daviyon Draper added 18 points for FIU while Diaz was limited to just 11 points and four rebounds.

LA Tech heads to Boca Raton next to face Florida Atlantic on Saturday, Jan. 16. 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) or visit the official website at LATechSports.com.




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