Feb. 25, 2012
RUSTON, La. - On senior day in the Thomas Assembly Center, senior guard Trevor Gaskins scored a game-high 22 points, dished out a career-high eight assists and grabbed eight rebounds to lead Louisiana Tech to an 84-67 win over Hawaii Saturday afternoon.
The Bulldogs improve to 15-14 and 5-7 in the Western Athletic Conference while the Rainbow Warriors are now 15-13 overall and 6-6 in conference play.
Gaskins rebounding total equaled his career-best while his points tied a season-high he set in the second game of the season at UT-Arlington.
Tech fell behind 9-1 four minutes into the contest with the Bulldogs' lone point coming on a free throw from Gaskins.
A 7-0 run in a little over a minute pulled Tech to within one at the 14:44 mark of the first half. Hawaii responded by pushing their advantage to 24-18 on a Zane Johnson three-pointer with just under nine minutes until halftime.
Freshman forward Michale Kyser came up with a big plays on the defensive and offensive ends of the court about a minute and a half later when he blocked a shot from Vander Joaquim, grabbed the rebound and then finished the fastbreak with an alley-oop dunk on a pass from freshman guard Kenneth Smith.
Tech stretched their first period lead to eight on two free throws from Gaskins with 7.5 seconds until halftime. The Rainbow Warriors' Bobby Miles took the inbound pass and drove coast-to-coast for a layup with about two second left on the clock to cut the Bulldogs halftime advantage to 42-36.
After junior guard Brandon Gibson made a three-point basket 20 seconds into the second half to push Tech's lead to nine, Hawaii's Zane Johnson scored five straight points to make the score 45-41 in favor of LA Tech at the 18:01 mark.
The Bulldogs responded with a 16-0 run over the next 6:03 to take a 20-point advantage, their largest of the game. Senior forward Romario Souza and freshman guard Raheem Appleby both scored four points apiece during the run.
Hawaii came back to pull within single-digits, 65-57, with just over six minutes to play when Jeremiah Ostrowski made two free throws.
McNeail hit a three-pointer on the next possession while at the same time near mid-court, Joaquim was called for a foul away from the play that sent Kyser to the free throw line to shot 1-and-1. Kyser made both shots at the charity stripe to give LA Tech an extremely rare five-point play.
That was the beginning of an 11-0 run from the Bulldogs which was capped off by a three-pointer from McNeail to push their lead to 76-57 with 3:52 to go in the contest.
A layup from Garrett Jefferson cut the LA Tech advantage to 12 with just over a minute to play before the Bulldogs ended the game by scoring six of the final seven points.
Gaskins shot 5-for-15 from the field including 4-of-10 from beyond the arc and made 8-of-9 free throw attempts while Gibson added 16 points and grabbed six rebounds.
Souza finished his final home game with six points while going 4-for-6 from the charity stripe, grabbed three rebounds, blocked a shot and was credited with a steal.
The Tech freshman season records for assists and blocks were both tied as Smith dished out four assists and Kyser blocked two shots on the afternoon.
As a team, the Bulldogs shot 44.6 percent (25-of-56) from the field including 45.8 percent (11-for-24) from three-point range. They went 23-for-31 (74.5 percent) from the free throw line, both a season-high in attempts and makes.
The Rainbow Warriors were led by Joaquim who recorded a double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Ostrowski came close to a double-double of his own with 10 assists, a game-high, and seven rebounds.
Zane Johnson contributed with 11 points as he made three shots from beyond the arc.
Hawaii made 43.6 percent (24-of-55) of their field goal attempts but only made 5-of-15 from three-point range.
Louisiana Tech returns to action Thursday night when they travel to face Fresno State at 10 p.m. CT.
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