Bulldogs Drop Heartbreaker in Overtime

March 5, 2016

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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Alex Hamilton backed up his performance on Thursday with a 33-point effort on Saturday, but it was not enough as Louisiana Tech dropped a heartbreaker in overtime to WKU, 96-90, inside E.A. Diddle Arena.

With the loss, LA Tech (23-8, 12-6 C-USA) is the No. 4 seed in the Conference USA Tournament set to take place in Birmingham beginning Tuesday. The Bulldogs will await their opponent in the quarterfinals in a matchup that will tipoff on Thursday at 2:30 p.m.

“I think our guys have a tremendous will for winning,” head coach Eric Konkol said. “They are competitive. They want it bad. I thought they left everything out on the floor tonight. We needed one more play and some pieces of execution to go our way, but it is a game of mistakes. I thought we kept fighting hard and I am proud of them for that.”

The ‘Dogs came out on fire, hitting five of its first six shots, to build an early 16-6 lead but WKU (16-15, 8-10 C-USA) was having its way in the paint that led to them taking a 38-29 edge into halftime.

The Bulldogs came out swinging again after intermission, going on a 10-0 run to cut the deficit quickly down to one and eventually tying it up on two separate occasions. However, the Hilltoppers continued to thrive on layups and free throws to maintain a single-digit advantage.

With LA Tech down 70-62 with only five minutes to go, the senior Hamilton put the team on his shoulders and elevated his game to another level much like he has been doing all season and his whole four-year career.

He ended up scoring 11 straight points, capped off by a fastbreak layup after a steal by Jy’lan Washington, to give the Bulldogs a 73-72 lead, its first lead in almost 28 minutes of action.

“He played 43 minutes,” Konkol said of Hamilton. “We can’t ask any more of him. He is running the team, he is scoring. He is playing at such a high level right now and he wants to have the best finish to his senior year as possible. I know he is looking forward to getting back and getting some rest in preparation for his last conference tournament.”

Hamilton and WKU’s Aaron Cosby would later trade three-pointers and with 16 seconds to go, the home team fouled Derric Jean who had previous had a huge offensive rebound and putback one minute prior.

After hitting the first, Jean missed the second and WKU was able to get a basket down low with four seconds to go which ultimately forced overtime.

In overtime, the Hilltoppers opened quickly with two made free throws and never trailed in the extra period, making four field goals and going 8-of-10 from the charity stripe.

Hamilton not only moved ahead of former Bulldog great Randy White for third on the all-time career scoring list, he also became the first player since White to score 30+ points in back-to-back games.

LA Tech wound up shooting 30-of-64 from the field for 46.9 percent. Erik McCree was the only other Bulldog in double figures with 20.

WKU went 35-of-62 from the field for 56.5 percent, including 58 paint points. They were led by Cosby who had a game-high 34 points and scored 13 of their 17 points in OT.

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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