Bulldogs Lose Close One 67-61 at Utah State
Feb. 17, 2010
LOGAN, Utah - Battling from behind most of the game, Louisiana Tech took a late lead before falling 67-61 at Utah State on Wednesday at the Spectrum.
Louisiana Tech fell to 20-6 overall and 8-4 in the Western Athletic Conference while Utah State improved to 21-6 overall and 11-2 in the WAC.
"It was an uphill battle from the start," Tech head coach Kerry Rupp said. "We had key turnovers down the stretch. I thought our guys played hard and had good energy, but it is the little things that our team has to do and that's what great teams do."
Early on, the Bulldogs had trouble scoring as they were just 1-of-11 from the field over the first eight minutes of play and fell behind 13-4. Tech shot 9-of-19 the rest of the half and got great bench play from Anson Bartlett and David Jackson to trail just 29-26 at halftime. It was their lowest scoring output in the first half all season.
Tech shot 33.3 percent from the field (10-30) while Utah State shot 41.9 percent (13-31).
Brown hit a three-pointer to give the Bulldogs its first lead of the game at 37-36 with 16:13 remaining in the game. Tech took a 46-43 lead, its largest of the game, after an Olu Ashaolu layup with 9:47 left to go.
With Utah State up 60-56 with 1:36 remaining, Rolle hit two free throws to cut the lead to 60-58 at the 1:33 mark. After the Bulldogs made a defensive stand, senior Jamel Guyton made an errant pass to give the Aggies the ball back with a two point lead and 47 seconds remaining.
"That was the one turnover we had for the second half," Rupp said. "We have to make sure when we get that close that we get the shot that we want."
After a foul, Utah State missed the front end of a one-and-one opportunity from the free throw line, but Nate Bendall got the offensive rebound and put it in for two and was fouled on the play. He converted the free throw to give the Aggies a 63-58 lead with 27 seconds remaining. Brown drained a three-pointer to get the Bulldogs within two at 63-61 with 16 seconds on the clock. After Tech fouled twice to get the ball back, Utah State converted on all four free throws in the final 14 seconds for their 11th-consectutive win.
Both teams had just one turnover in the second half as both finished with seven for the game. LA Tech's poor shooting continued as they shot 37.5 percent for the game (21-56). USU shot 51.9 percent in the second half and finished 27-for-58 for 46.6 percent.
Senior Kyle Gibson, who ranked 19th nationally in scoring, was just 4-for-18 from the field and scored 14 points.
Tai Wesley was one of four Aggies in double-figures with 16 points.
Louisiana Tech will be in action on Saturday at Northeastern in a game a part of ESPN's BracketBuster Weekend. It starts at noon CT and will be broadcast on ESPN2 from Boston, Mass.