Bulldogs' Second Half Rally Falls Short
Feb. 12, 2012
MOSCOW, Idaho - Sophomore guard Cordarius Johnson scored 21 points and grabbed a team-high seven rebounds as Louisiana Tech fell 73-64 to Idaho Saturday night at the Cowan Spectrum.
The defeat drops the Bulldogs to 11-14 on the year and 3-7 in the Western Athletic Conference while Idaho improves to 15-11 and 7-4 in the conference.
Down 33-26 at halftime, Tech cut Idaho's advantage to four on a layup from junior guard Brandon Gibson less than four and a half minutes into the second half. A conventional three-point play from Connor Hill pushed Idaho's lead to 41-34 on their next possession down the court.
A jumper in the pain from Johnson gave Tech a 42-41 lead, their first since the first minute of the contest, at the 13:38 mark and capped off an 8-0 run for the Bulldogs.
The Vandals came back with a 7-2 run of their own over the next 3:33 to take a four-point advantage.
A fastbreak dunk and layup from Gibson and senior forward Romario Souza, respectively, tied the contest at 48-48 with a little over nine minutes to play in the game.
Idaho scored eight straight points but senior guard Trevor Gaskins came back with six consecutive points of his own to cut the deficit to 58-54 with 5:11 left in the contest.
That would be as close as the Bulldogs got as the Vandals stretched their lead to 12 with just over a minute left on the clock. Tech kept fighting and got the score to 71-64 on two free throws from Gibson with just over 32 seconds on the clock.
Deremy Geiger made two free throws of his own to finish the game.
The Bulldogs began the game with a 2-0 lead on a layup from Souza before Idaho tallied five straight points.
Souza made two from the charity stripe to cut the deficit to one at the 16:54 mark. The Vandals responded with a 7-0 run over the next over the next 3:09 to push their lead to eight.
Gaskins drove down the left baseline and laid the ball in to bring Tech to within 16-14 with a little over 10 minutes to play until halftime.
Idaho would go up by as much as 10 before Gaskins scored four straight points to bring the Bulldogs to within 29-23 at the 1:38 mark.
Johnson made his third three-point field goal of the half with just over two seconds left on the clock to cut the Vandals lead to seven at halftime.
Souza and Gaskins scored 13 and 12 points, respectively, with nine of Souza's total coming in the second half.
Freshman guard Raheem Appleby, Tech' leading scorer, was held scoreless in the game for the first time since Nov. 30 at Southeastern Louisiana.
Gibson pulled down six rebounds while sophomore guard Kenyon McNeail and Gaskins had a game-best two steals apiece.
Freshman guard Kenneth Smith dished out a game-high four assists and McNeail was credited with three assists of his own.
Tech shot 40.4 percent (23-57) from the field and made 75.0 percent (12-16) of their free throw attempts.
Kyle Barone recorded a double-double with 14 points and 15 rebounds for the Vandals. Landon Tatum and Geiger both added 14 points each with all of Geiger's points coming in the second half.
Barone had a game-high three blocks with Djim Bandoumel blocking two shots himself as well.
Idaho made 54.5 percent (24-44) of their shots from the field and 74.1 percent (20-27) of their attempts from the charity stripe.
The Vandals outrebounded the Bulldogs 35-24 including 27-15 on the defensive glass.
Louisiana Tech returns to action Thursday night at 8 p.m. against North Dakota in the Thomas Assembly Center.