Bulldogs Defeat Muleriders in Exhibition

Nov. 3, 2016

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RUSTON -- Redshirt senior Erik McCree had a near double-double, registering a game-high 19 points and nine rebounds, as Louisiana Tech defeated Southern Arkansas by a score of 86-69 on Thursday night inside the Thomas Assembly Center.

McCree was one of four Bulldogs, including fellow starters Qiydar Davis (14), Derric Jean (12) and Omar Sherman (11), to score in double figures in the exhibition.

"We did some good things; we just were not very consistent," head coach Eric Konkol said. "You see bright spots. I thought there were moments where our pressure got to them. Then again, we fouled too much. That was the cause and effect of that type of pressure. I was pleased with the effort at times. We just have to become more consistent."

LA Tech wasted no time, jumping out to a 15-6 lead at the 16-minute mark that was capped off by an alley-oop dunk from Jean to Davis which forced a timeout by SAU.

The Muleriders' CJ Elkins was able to hit a three-pointer to slice the deficit to six, but the Bulldogs countered with a 10-0 run to make it 25-9.

The visitors were able to get the deficit back down to single digits by converting on multiple trips to the foul line.

Holding a slim nine-point lead with less than a minute left in the first stanza, LA Tech got layups from both Davis and freshman DaQuan Bracey in the final seconds to make it a 47-34 lead at intermission.

The Bulldogs hot-shooting continued through the first eight minutes of the second half, getting three-pointers from McCree, Jean and Bracey to help the lead balloon to as much as 69-43.

The biggest positive for LA Tech was its ability to shoot the basketball, going 32-of-65 from the field for 49 percent and 9-of-19 from beyond the arc for 47 percent. The team was also able to force 23 turnovers and convert that into 32 points.

The downside was committing 20 fouls and not being able to take care of the basketball themselves, committing 15 for the game.

"I like what we are doing; we just have to do it more often," Konkol said. "That is on both sides of the ball. We have to keep working on defending without fouling. We can't keep putting people on the foul line. Offensively, we have to share the ball better. Guys were very aggressive in trying to score, but we have to get more open shots."

Other highlights included six assists from Jean at the point guard position and seven rebounds (four offensive) from Joniah White off the bench.

SAU shot 47 percent from the field and 33 percent from three. The Muleriders had three players score in double digits, led by Ekins who had 17.

LA Tech now gets set for its season opener which takes place on Nov. 11 at South Carolina. Tipoff is set for 5:30 p.m. CT and can be seen on the SEC Network+.

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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