Feb. 23, 2012
RUSTON, La. - Senior forward Romario Souza scored a career-high 19 points, 13 in the first half, as Louisiana Tech defeated San Jose State 75-49 Thursday night at the Thomas Assembly Center for their third consecutive win.
The Bulldogs improve to 14-14 on the year and 4-7 in the Western Athletic Conference while the Spartans fall to 9-18 and 1-10 in conference play.
San Jose State took control of the game for the first two minutes as they went up 4-2. Tech came back with a 10-2 run as Souza scored eight of the Bulldogs points to take a six-point advantage with 13:54 remaining in the first period.
LA Tech would stretch their lead to 28-18 after senior guard Trevor Gaskins made a jumper with less than six minutes until halftime.
The Spartans scored the next four points to cut the Bulldogs' advantage to six with 3:17 left in the half but Tech scored the final four points of the period to go into intermission leading 32-22.
In the first 8:01 of the second half, the Bulldogs outscored SJSU 20-4 as Souza and Gaskins scored six and five points, respectively.
Freshman guard Raheem Appleby's layup with 7:10 left on the clock gave Tech their largest lead of the contest 63-31.
The Spartans scored seven straight to decrease the Bulldogs advantage to 25 but a three-pointer from Gaskins ended Tech's scoreless streak.
With 59 seconds left on the clock, the Bulldog bench erupted as walk-on freshman forward Robby Price hit a jumper in the paint for the first points of his career.
Stephon Smith of San Jose State would make a layup on the very next possession for the final basket of the game as Tech won by their largest margin of the year.
Junior guard Brandon Gibson and Souza both grabbed eight rebounds apiece to lead the squad.
Freshman Kenneth Smith dished out a game-high seven assists and is now five away from breaking the program record for assists in a season by a freshman. Fellow classmate Michale Kyser blocked two shots to give him 50 on the season and is one away from tying for 10th on the school's career block list.
Appleby was credited with four steals, matching his career-high for the third time this season.
LA Tech shot over 50 percent from the field for the second straight game as they made a season-high 53.4 percent (31-of-58) of their field goal attempts.
Defensively, the Bulldogs forced 18 turnovers with nine of them resulting in steals while also outrebounding SJSU 37-29.
The Spartans were led by Wil Carter's 17 points and eight rebounds. Matt Ballard came off the bench and pulled down seven rebounds.
D.J. Brown paced the team with four assists while Keith Shamburger, the WAC leader in assist, was held to three assists and turned the ball over four times but did lead the Spartans with three steals on the night.
San Jose State was held to 34.7 percent (17-of-49) shooting including 25.0 percent (4-for-16) from three-point range but made 11-of-15 (73.3 percent) from the free throw line.
Louisiana Tech plays their final regular season home game of the year Saturday afternoon against Hawaii at 3 p.m. The Bulldogs will honor their two seniors, Gaskins and Souza, prior to the start of the contest.