LA Tech's Gutsy Comeback Not Enough in Loss at North Texas
Jan. 22, 2015
DENTON, Texas - Louisiana Tech came back from a 21-point deficit in the second half to pull it to within one, but North Texas held on for the 73-66 win on Thursday night at the Super Pit.
It was the first conference loss of the season for LA Tech (14-5, 5-1 C-USA) and the first win by North Texas (8-10, 2-4 C-USA) in the series since 1986. The Bulldogs had won nine straight over the Mean Green.
"North Texas was absolutely unbelievable in the first half," head coach Michael White said. "I was proud of the fight from our guys to pull to within one. Unfortunately, we did not have enough in the tank. Winning on the road in any league is extremely difficult. We do not take that for granted. Our focus and effort Saturday at Rice must be tremendous."
Alex Hamilton scored a game-high 27 points, 20 of which came in the second stanza when the `Dogs mounted a huge comeback effort. Ultimately they ran out of energy down the stretch though after having to use so much to get back into the game.
North Texas built its huge lead in the first half on hotter than hot shooting, hitting 15 of its first 17 shots to grab a 37-18 lead with 8:18 left in the first half.
The Mean Green never cooled off in the first half, evident by a fade away three-pointer before the buzzer went off to give the home team a 49-28 advantage at halftime. The largest halftime deficit prior to tonight for LA Tech this season was three.
The second half started much differently. The Bulldogs forced eight turnovers in the first nine minutes of the second half to help them be down only 57-50. They had only forced four total in all of the first stanza.
LA Tech kept roaring back on the back of Hamilton who hit five three-pointers in the second half, including one from the wing, to pull them to within two with 7:59 still to go.
North Texas pulled it back out to a five-point advantage, 61-56, but LA Tech went on a 6-2 run with back-to-back jumpers from Erik McCree and a driving layup by Kenneth Smith to cut it down to one, but that was as close as they would get.
The Mean Green got a key block and pulled down five offensive rebounds in the final five minutes which proved too costly down the stretch.
LA Tech finished 27-of-68 (40 percent) from the field and 9-of-32 (28 percent) from three. Erik McCree was the only other Bulldog in double figures with 17 points.
North Texas shot 72 percent in the first half but finished at 48 percent. Four Mean Green players each had 16 points apiece.
LA Tech will now regroup and make the trek to Houston to take on Rice on Saturday, Jan. 24. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. in Tudor Fieldhouse.
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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