Jan. 22, 2011
RENO, Nev. - Despite Olu Ashaolu's career-high 26 points, the Louisiana Tech men's basketball team loss a tough one, 66-58 to Nevada Saturday at the Lawlor Events Center.
The Bulldogs fell to 9-12 overall and 0-7 in the Western Athletic Conference while the Wolfpack improved to 7-13, 4-3 in the WAC.
"I thought the fight was there and the battle was there," said Tech head coach Kerry Rupp. "I thought Nevada did a good job making adjustments in the second half."
Ashaolu added a season-high 17 rebounds, five offensive, for his 11th double-double of the season. His 26 points came in every form a player can score, with his right hand, with his left hand, dunking, fade away jumpers, free throws (3-4) and was also 1-for-1 from three-point range. The Toronto native didn't take long to record the double-double as he had 15 points and 10 rebounds by the five minute mark of the first half.
Tech outrebounded Nevada 39-32 and won the turnover battle 14-11. A major differential was at the free throw line the Bulldogs were 8-for-10 while the Wolfpack were 21-for-32.
In a first half that featured five ties and five lead changes, the Bulldogs held an eight-point lead, their biggest lead of the game with 52 seconds remaining in the first half.
The Bulldogs shot 39.4 percent from the field in the first half while the Wolfpack shot 42.9 percent as Tech led 33-28 at halftime.
Nevada took the lead four minutes into the second half 40-39. It was the first time that Tech trailed since the 6:01 mark in the first half. Four minutes later, freshman forward James Johnson collided with Ashaolu which launched Ashaolu hard to the floor. He suffered a cut just below his right eye that bled profusely onto the court. He left the game for about three minutes as the Wolfpack extended their lead to 50-43 before Ashaolu reentered the game.
Ashaolu was matched up with the leading rebounder and offensive rebounder in the WAC, Nevada's Dario Hunt. Hunt scored 16 points, but was kept off the glass with five rebounds and just one offensive.
Trailing by 11, Tech went on a 9-0 run on back-to-back three's by senior guard DeAndre Brown, to cut the deficit to three, 57-54 with 4:33 remaining. Nevada ended the game on a 9-4 run to win its third straight game.
For the game, Tech shot 35.9 percent from the field while Nevada shot 47.6 percent.
Brown finished with 14 points and junior forward Romario Souza ended the game with six points and three rebounds.
Louisiana Tech returns home to face Idaho on Thursday at 7 p.m.