Jan. 16, 2014
NEW ORLEANS, La. - It was a great homecoming for Louisiana Tech head coach Michael White who spent four years on Tulane's campus as a high school kid with his dad the athletics director at the university.
Jaron Johnson and Kenyon McNeail came off the bench to nail four three-pointers to tally a game-high 14 points apiece in leading the Bulldogs to a 73-45 road conference win over the Green Wave on Thursday night inside Devlin Fieldhouse.
Eight different players for LA Tech (15-3, 3-0 C-USA) scored at least four points and all eight pulled down at least four rebounds in a balanced effort to get the seventh straight victory.
"It is nice to be 1-0 [in conference road games]," said White. "It is nice to defend as well as we did tonight on the road and be able to overcome an average offensive performance in terms of the way we shot the ball.
"Overall we defended at a high level. I was proud of our guys effort. I thought our press was really effective. I thought our attention to detail in terms of defending their personnel was very good. Outside of fouling their guards too much, it was one of our better defensive performances."
The 45 points by Tulane (9-9, 1-2 C-USA) was the fewest the Bulldogs have allowed all the season, and even that did not come easy.
The Green Wave was only able to muster 10 made field goals as 25 of their total offensive output came via the charity stripe.
For the 13th time this season, LA Tech forced at least 15 turnovers. Tonight it forced 17
The Bulldogs certainly missed the scoring of Raheem Appleby as they connected on just 27-of-76 for 35.5 percent. However, with his absence, the team has suddenly become bigger and with that has come impressive rebounding performances.
LA Tech outrebounded Tulane 53-37 and generated 16 second chance points.
"With Raheem [Appleby] out, we can find ways that we can be better," said White. "We are a little bit bigger. Hopefully, we can be a little bit of a better offensive rebounding team and just play more to our strengths. We've got to be really good defensively. We've got to be really good on the glass because we have taken a hit offensively."
Three three-pointers from J. Johnson, McNeail and Alex Hamilton triggered an 11-0 run to give LA Tech a 15-2 lead with 12:51 to go in the first stanza.
The Green Wave cut the deficit to nine twice in the early going of the second half, but Chris Anderson and J. Johnson combined for 13 of the team's 16 points to stretch the lead out to 52-29 with 11:36 to go.
LA Tech extended the run to 24-6 to put the game out of reach.
Anderson and Hamilton added 11 points each and all night it was Kenneth Smith finding them as he racked up 11 assists.
"We had a lot of balance," said White. "I thought we had nine guys that played pretty well, not necessarily nine that were great offensively, but nine that did things to help us win the game."
Tulane was led in scoring by Louis Dabney who registered 11.
Next up for LA Tech is a rematch of last year's second round NIT battle versus Southern Miss on Sunday, Jan. 19. Tipoff is set for 12 p.m. in Hattiesburg in a nationally televised game on FS1.
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