Bulldogs Win Shootout

Feb. 4, 2017

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RUSTON – For a game that had a combined 184 points, the end result was determined by defense.

Louisiana Tech was able to lock down Marshall in the final two minutes, including a backside block by Derric Jean and an outmuscled rebound by Jacobi Boykins.

Boykins then sealed it from the foul line, making three free throws to give the Bulldogs a 94-90 comeback victory over the Thundering Herd on Saturday night in front of 4,804 fans inside the Thomas Assembly Center.

LA Tech (16-8, 8-3 C-USA) found itself struggling to keep up with the ninth-best scoring offense in the country. They were down by as much as 10 points with seven minutes to go, but the team dug deep to come from behind and maintain its second place standing in the league.

“I want to give a lot of credit to our fans,” head coach Eric Konkol said. “I thought the energy in the building was sensational. When we needed a stop and things weren’t looking great, I thought they were fantastic. They were exactly what we needed and there is no way we win this game without them.

“We were switching screens and guys were guarding people bigger than them, smaller than them and just working as hard as they can. That is a very talented offensive team, one of the most talented in the entire country. They pose a lot of problems and I just give our guys so much credit for believing in each other and just trying to figure it out as the game progressed.”

Senior Erik McCree was a huge part in the ‘Dogs getting back into the game. The forward went off for 30 points and 11 rebounds, registering his conference-best 11th double-double of the year.

“He just was not going to be denied at trying to find ways to score and also with some key stops, really putting his body on people,” Konkol said about McCree. “He gave us that lift and that leadership. That is what you count on your seniors to do and our one senior played like several tonight.”

He made two free throws, got a block on the defensive end and then hit a three-pointer to pull LA Tech to within seven at 81-74. That third three-pointer sparked a 12-1 that was capped off by a Jacobi Boykins three-pointer and a backdoor pass from Joniah White to Boykins for the layup.

That gave LA Tech its first lead of the game since being up just 2-1 that came 28 seconds into the game.

Marshall (13-11, 6-5 C-USA) would not let up though, reclaiming a three-point advantage with three minutes to go, but that got erased very quickly by Boykins third three-pointer.

The junior sharp shooter ended up scoring 11 of his 14 points in the final five-plus minutes.

Boykins had an all-around night, adding eight rebounds, five assists and three steals. Three other Bulldogs joined him and McCree in double figures – Omar Sherman (12), DaQuan Bracey (12) and Jy’lan Washington (10).

For the game, LA Tech shot 32-of-67 from the field for 48 percent and 10-of-21 from beyond the arc for 48 percent. They also got to the free throw 27 times, making 20 of them for 74 percent.

Marshall ended up shooting 45 percent from the field (32-71) and 45 percent from three-point range (13-29). The Herd was limited to just four three-pointers in the second half.

The Thundering Herd had six guys score double-digit points, led by Stevie Browning and Austin Loop who each had 15 points. Junior point guard Jon Elmore had a double-double with 14 points and 11 assists.

LA Tech now heads to the Lone Star State next week for two road games, starting with a matchup against UTEP on Thursday, Feb. 9. Tipoff is set for 8 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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