March 14, 2009
RENO, Nev. -- Louisiana Tech (15-18; 6-10 WAC) was unable to overcome a second half offensive assault by Nevada (21-11; 11-5 WAC) Friday night and fell to the Wolf Pack 77-68 in the semifinals of the 2009 WAC Tournament.
"Our guys gave a great effort and gave their heart and soul tonight," Tech head coach Kerry Rupp said. "We never surrendered and kept fighting the whole way. I thought we played very, very well in the first half and did a good job defensively. Again, my hat's off to Nevada. They made some tough shots over our defense. I'm so proud of my guys for fighting tonight."
The Bulldogs stunned a very hostile Wolf Pack crowed early by taking a 10-2 lead in the first three minutes of play. Tech kept the momentum rolling and took a 21-9 lead with 10:12 to play in the first half. Despite a Nevada rally to end the first half of play, the Bulldogs still took a 35-31 lead into the halftime locker room. Junior Magnum Rolle scored 15 points in the first half by himself.
The Wolf Pack opened the second half with an 8-2 run to take their first lead of the night 39-37 at the 18-minute mark. Nevada would get up by as many as 13 in the second half before getting the final 77-68 win.
Junior Kyle Gibson finished the night with 25 points, while Rolle finished with 24. Armon Johnson led Nevada with 24 points.
Gibson now has 1,106 points in his career and ranks him 28th all-time in Bulldog history.
Tech's 15 wins on the season is the most since the 2005-06 season when the Bulldogs went to the NIT. Losing only two seniors, the Bulldogs expect to bring back a very experienced team for the 2009-10 season.