Bulldogs Scorch Nets in 89-66 Win
Jan. 27, 2018
RUSTON – Last season inside the Thomas Assembly Center, Louisiana Tech hit 14 three-pointers in a blowout win over Southern Miss.
The same thing happened on Saturday night as the Bulldogs scorched the nets with a season-high 14 triples, 11 of which came in the first half, in cruising to an 89-66 victory over the Golden Eagles in front of 4,269 fans in the TAC on Karl Malone Court.
LA Tech (13-9, 4-5 C-USA) had a first half for the ages, shooting 70 percent from the field to grab as much as a 31-point lead on USM (11-11, 4-5 C-USA). It was in large part to Jacobi Boykins and Jy’lan Washington who combined for 32 points to help the ‘Dogs possess a 57-27 halftime advantage.
“I thought the energy in the first half was fantastic,” head coach Eric Konkol said. “It really started all week in practice. The guys were ready to play. The shootaround today was really good. A good shooting performance really creates a lot of energy, but defensively, the guys really took a lot of pride in what we were trying to do. I thought our offense developed and was sparked by our defense tonight.”
Boykins was the main guy on fire, hitting all six of his three-point attempts through the first 20 minutes. Despite going scoreless in the second half, he still finished with a game-high 20 points to lead the team to their 13th straight home win over the Golden Eagles.
Doing the majority of the passing was Amorie Archibald who registered his second double-double of the season with 14 points and a career-tying 10 assists with only one turnover.
As much as the Bulldogs enjoyed putting on a shooting clinic, taking care of the basketball against one of the top teams in the country in turnover margin was the main key for success.
Led by Archibald, the squad did just that by totaling season-tying 21 assists and committing just nine turnovers for the entire game for a +2.3 assist/turnover ratio.
“Turnover margin was what we talked about coming in, and Southern Miss is really one of the best in the country – by far the best in our league, at plus-6,” Konkol said. “Taking care of the basketball and getting good shots was a huge part of this game, and the guys were able to execute that.
“Amorie has been playing great. To have 10 assists and one turnover against their guards, the way they switch and the way they are active with their hands, was great. He was a quarterback in high school and he certainly had a quarterback mentality out there tonight. His vision was sensational.”
LA Tech and Southern Miss traded three-pointers to start the game. However, it was the Bulldogs who continued to hit them. Their first five made baskets came from beyond the arc before Jy’lan Washington ended that streak with a made layup on the assist from Archibald.
With the ‘Dogs up 23-14 midway through the first stanza, they proceeded to end the half on a 34-13 run while making 12 of their last 14 field goals (including a stretch of 10 straight).
The Golden Eagles came out of the locker room and made seven straight points, but the Bulldogs quickly put an end to any hope of a comeback with back-to-back dunks by Oliver Powell and Archibald.
Three other Bulldogs joined Boykins and Archibald in double figures. Washington came off the bench to score 15 while Powell and JaColby Pemberton each registered 10.
As expected, LA Tech cooled off some in the second half but still shot 56 percent from the field (32-57) and 50 percent from three-point range (14-28).
Southern Miss was held to just 22-of-58 from the field for 38 percent and 9-of-27 from beyond the arc for 33 percent. They were led in scoring by Tyree Griffin who recorded 14 points.
LA Tech will now take its three-game winning streak on the road as they take on Florida Atlantic on Thursday, Feb. 1 in Boca Raton. 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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