Feb. 9, 2013
RUSTON - Raheem Appleby scored 21 points and Alex Hamilton came off the bench to net 15 as Louisiana Tech defeated Texas State 84-69 Saturday night in the Thomas Assembly Center in front of a crowd of 4,435 for the team's 13th straight victory.
It was the fourth straight game in the TAC with over 4,000 Bulldog fans, and LA Tech (21-3, 12-0 WAC) fed off the crowd once again in continuing their magical run.
"I'm proud of my kids and our staff," said head coach Michael White about his team's accomplishments thus far. "They have done a great job. We continue to work and overcome adversity. [I'm] just proud of where we are at. We do have a ways to go though."
Texas State (7-18, 3-10 WAC) got the fans out of the game early on though, jumping on the Bulldogs to the tune of a 20-12 lead, including four made three-pointers, at the 11:31 mark in the first stanza that forced a timeout by coach White.
It was mostly Appleby up to that point as he scored the team's first seven points.
With 7:21 to go in the half and the `Dogs down 27-21, the team kicked it into another gear. Hamilton scored on back-to-back buckets in the lane, then Chris Anderson came up with a steal that led to a layup by Appleby to tie the game up at 27 all.
The Bulldogs retook the lead on a jumper by Isaiah Massey, two of his career-high 10 points to go along with a career-high seven boards, and ultimately closed out the half on a 15-2 run to take a 36-29 advantage into the locker room.
"[Isaiah Massey] has made a big turn for the better in terms of his production and his confidence level over the past month or so," said White. "He's going to be a good player here. He's a big body kid who did a good job ducking in and demanding the ball. He got some hard rebounds."
To start the second half LA Tech picked up exactly where they left off, with a ton of energy and intensity on the defensive end, forcing three turnovers in the first three minutes that led to a 10-1 run to extend the lead to 46-30.
"I thought Texas State was really good with the way they started the game, attacking our press, and I thought their zone gave us problems," said White. "They forced us to shoot jump shots. We had problems there, but I thought that our defensive intensity coming out of the locker room in the second half was as good as it has been, and as good as it needs to be for 40 minutes a game. We continue to strive for that consistency, but the way we started the second half really gave us a boost."
The largest lead came at the 12:52 mark, 56-37, when another steal by Anderson led to another layup by Appleby, who had his highest scoring output this season since dropping 34 at Georgia State on Nov. 30. Anderson was all over the floor, grabbing nine of his career-high 13 rebounds in the first half alone, and coming up with three blocks and three steals on the night.
"Chris Anderson has progressed, really, throughout the year," said White. He has just gotten more opportunities. He's one of those guys with really, really quick feet and long, and plays hard. Three blocks, three steals, a bunch of rebounds, and he'll continue to progress and be a good player for us."
After shooting just 15-of-38 from the field in the first half for 39.5 percent, the streaky shooting Bulldogs got it going in the second half, shooting 14-of-27 for 51.9 percent.
Their final six points came from the foul line where they were dominant yet again, making 18-of-20.
Texas State had four players score in double digits, led by Joel Wright who scored 13. Reid Koenen, Wesley Davis and Basil Brown added 13, 12 and 12 points respectively for the Bobcats.
Louisiana Tech returns to action on Thursday, Feb. 14 as they travel to Seattle to faceoff with the Redhawks in a 9:00 p.m. CT tipoff.
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