Freshman Smith Sets Assists Record in Bulldogs 84-62 Victory

Kenneth Smith broke school assist record that was set over 33 years ago
 
Kenneth Smith broke school assist record that was set over 33 years ago
 

Feb. 18, 2012

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RUSTON, La. - Freshman guard Kenneth Smith set the Louisiana Tech school record for assists in a game with 15 as the Bulldogs defeated Central Arkansas 84-42 Saturday afternoon in the Thomas Assembly Center in front of 3,977 fans that was a part of SEARS ESPN BracketBuster program.

LA Tech improves to 13-14 on the year while the Bears drop to 7-18.

Smith's 15th assist came at the 3:05 mark of the second half on a layup by freshman forward Stojan Gjuroski. Former Bulldog Bud Dean had held the assists record since Jan. 17, 1969 when he had 14 at Nicholls State.

The Bulldogs fell behind 5-0 at the 18:17 mark of the first half after UCA's second fastbreak layup of the contest.

After head coach Michael White called a timeout, Tech went on a 20-5 run over the next 7:38 to go up by 10 as freshman guard Raheem Appleby and sophomore guard Kenyon McNeail scored seven and six points, respectively. During the run, McNeail made a three-pointer at the 12:18 mark to give the team their 203rd made three-point field goal of the year to break the program record set by the 2009-10 squad.

The Bears responded with an 11-2 run that cut Tech's lead to one with less than eight minutes to play in the half.

A 16-4 run from the Bulldogs increased their advantage to 38-25 with 3:54 left in the period as sophomore guard Cordarius Johnson and Appleby scored all of Tech's points with nine and seven, respectively.

Robert Crawford of UCA cut the Bulldogs lead to eight, the closest they would get the rest of the game, with a little over two minutes on the clock.

Tech scored the final nine points of the half that was capped off by a jumper from Appleby to give him 16 points in the period. Smith was credited with an assist on the play to give him nine in the first 20 minutes of action.

In the second half, the Bulldogs continued the onslaught as they stretched their lead to as much as 29 after two free throws from freshman forward Michale Kyser at the 12:20 mark.

Gjuroski made his first career field goal on a fastbreak layup at the 4:52 mark on an assist from Smith.

After Smith's record breaking assist, the Bears would score the final four points of the game as all 13 Bulldogs saw playing time in the contest.

Four Tech players reached double-figures in scoring led by Appleby's 18 while Johnson added 16 and senior forward Romario Souza contributed 13 points.

Freshman forward Michale Kyser scored a career-high 12 points and blocked five shots off the bench.

Smith also paced the Bulldogs with six rebounds and two steals.

Tech shot a season-high 50.8 percent (31-61) from the field while making eight three-pointers. They also made 14-of-18 (77.8 percent) of their shots at the free throw line.

The Bulldogs outrebounded UCA 43-25 including 29-17 on the defensive glass.

LaQuentin Miles led the Bears with 18 points and game-high three steals as Jordan Hanks and Garner added 13 and 11 points, respectively.

Hanks grabbed seven rebounds and Ryan Williams had three assists off the bench to pace the squad.

UCA made 22-of-63 (34.9 percent) field goal attempts and 15-of-23 (65.2 percent) at the charity stripe.

Louisiana Tech returns to Western Athletic Conference play Thursday night at 7 p.m. as they take on San Jose State.