Shooting Woes Lead to Bulldog Road Loss

Feb. 21, 2015

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NORFOLK, Va. - Louisiana Tech dug itself an 11-point hole to begin the game and never could recover as Old Dominion held the Bulldogs to a season low in points and got 27 points from Trey Freeman in downing the Bulldogs, 72-53, on Saturday evening in front of 8,019 fans inside the Ted Constant Convocation Center.

What led to LA Tech's (21-7, 12-3 C-USA) limited scoring output was its worst shooting performance of the season, making just 18-of-57 for 32 percent and just three made three-pointers on 26 attempts.

"Old Dominion was absolutely terrific," head coach Michael White said. "I thought the arena was electric a few times and it was definitely a factor. More of a factor was Jeff [Jones] and Old Dominion and how they defended us, how they executed on offense and the poise and toughness that they played with.

"We can make excuses, but we looked lethargic because we were down 11-0. I just think Old Dominion punched us right in the face and we were throwing soft jabs. It was an uphill battle for 35 minutes. The start that we got off to really hurt us."

On the flipside Old Dominion (20-6, 9-5 C-USA) did not miss much, especially in the early going when it made seven of eight field goals, including three three-pointers, during a stretch to put the Bulldogs down 20-4 with 12:22 to play which forced a timeout by coach White.

The early 16-point deficit was aided by a five-minute scoring drought by the `Dogs to start the contest and four turnovers on their first six offensive possessions.

The deficit ballooned to as much as 21 for LA Tech before settling at 39-21 at halftime.

ODU opened the second stanza with a three from Freeman but that was all the Bulldogs gave up in the first five minutes, showing signs of getting back into game after an offensive rebound and putback by Xavian Stapleton sliced it down to 42-27.

The comeback was then negated by the Monarchs going on an 8-1 run to give them their largest lead of the day.

It took another six minutes of action for the `Dogs to whittle the deficit down to 61-47 after a steal at half court by Stapleton led to a fast break dunk at the 4:52 mark. After a defensive stop, Raheem Appleby had an open look in the corner for three that could have put a scare in the Monarchs but the shot rimmed out.

That moment was as close as they could get the rest of the way as ODU secured its 19th straight home victory.

Appleby was the only Bulldog in double figures with 10 points, but it took him 20 shot attempts to do so. Michale Kyser and Erik McCree each added nine.

It was the Freeman show for home team, hitting on 9-of-15 shots. As a team, ODU shot 49 percent from the field (26-53) and 39 percent from beyond the arc (7-18) and only committed 10 turnovers.

Despite the loss, the Bulldogs remain in sole possession of first place in the Conference USA standings with three games to go.

"We just have to regroup quickly, get home and get some rest and try to protect our home court," White said. "I am sure there will be some things on film that we can draw from this, but it is also just a reminder that our league is really good. Our league is tremendous. Thursday night we are back at home and hopefully we can find some success being back at home."

LA Tech returns home to begin that three-game home stand starting with a pivotal matchup versus UTEP on Thursday, Feb. 26 inside the Thomas Assembly Center. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. and will be nationally televised on FS1.

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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