Bulldogs Fall to UAB in Wild Affair
Jan. 27, 2017
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - When the final shot went up at Bartow Arena on Thursday night in Birmingham, Alabama, just four Bulldogs were left standing on the court, one coach and one trainer on the bench.
The UAB bench had a familiar look, as an outnumbered Louisiana Tech squad fell to the Blazers, 79-70.
Basketball would not be the story of the night though, as seven UAB players were ejected and eight Bulldogs suffered the same fate.
"It was definitely unfortunate," head coach Eric Konkol said. "I certainly apologize to our fans and Bulldog nation. That is not the way we want to represent our university. It is unfortunate, there are rules about leaving the bench. It is difficult, because you feel like you need to protect a teammate, protect a brother in the heat of the moment and it is a frustrating moment. That is the way the rules are and rules are rules."
With six minutes remaining in the game, Omar Sherman was called for a foul which led to a media timeout. On the way back to the bench, Jacobi Boykins bumped shoulders with a Blazer and a swing from Hakeem Baxter led to both benches emptying onto the court.
Any player, except players on the court, who left the bench, including coaches, managers and graduate assistants, were ejected from the game.
Konkol was the lone Louisiana Tech coach to remain in the game and was joined by athletic trainer Byron Pottorff as the only two left on the Bulldog bench for the final six minutes of action.
LA Tech would go on to outscore UAB 20-16 despite playing 4-on-5. What makes it more impressive is that Sherman played the final six minutes with four fouls. Had Sherman fouled out, the game would have been forfeited.
Louisiana Tech was led in scoring by Erik McCree who registered another double-double with 16 points and 13 rebounds.
The difference in the game was from beyond the arc. As Louisiana Tech shot 5-of-24 from three-point range and two of those five three pointers came during the final six-minute stretch.
The first 34 minutes proved to be a battle though.
The three-point shot refused to fall for the Bulldogs in the first half, so Louisiana Tech had to find other ways to score. That was the paint.
LA Tech would score 26 of their 32 first-half points in the paint, while also grabbing seven offensive boards to help reach that total.
The Blazers on the other hand were red-hot from beyond the arc. UAB, who entered the game averaging just over six three-pointers per game, drilled five three pointers in the first 20 minutes of action. Louisiana Tech entered the locker room 1-of-12 from deep.
A quick 5-0 run in the final 45 seconds of the first half chipped into the Bulldogs deficit, but LA Tech stilled trailed 38-32 at the intermission.
UAB didn't miss a beat in the second half as they started the half 6-of-6 from the field and never looked back.
Louisiana Tech will now make the two-hour trip North for a Saturday night battle with Middle Tennessee in Murfreesboro at 5 p.m. on ESPN3.
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