Nov. 4, 2013
RUSTON - The Louisiana Tech coaching staff wanted to see a different mentality and stronger effort in the second exhibition game, and they got it as the Bulldogs defeated Southern Arkansas, 100-49, in dominant fashion on Monday night at the Thomas Assembly Center.
It was practically a mirror image of the 2012-13 Bulldogs - strong defense and balanced scoring - that helped LA Tech hit the century mark in the lopsided victory.
"We were a completely different team tonight," said head coach Michael White about the difference between the two exhibition games. "I was proud of our approach. We were a lot more ready to play. The guys embraced the more important things in terms of what allows you to have chances to win games which is defending and rebounding.
"The offense came in addition. Our biggest emphasis the last three days has been defending and rebounding and we did that tonight."
LA Tech got on the scoreboard before the clock even started rolling as Raheem Appleby converted a free throw from a technical foul on SAU for a pregame dunk.
The Bulldogs raced out to an 11-2 lead after an Alex Hamilton steal resulted in a two-handed slam by the sophomore with 17:16 on the clock.
Nine different Bulldogs scored in the first seven minutes of action after a three-pointer by Cordarius Johnson made it 21-5.
Johnson would drill back-to-back three-pointers later on to put the `Dogs up by 32 before they ended the half with a 53-20 lead.
In the first half, LA Tech forced 15 turnovers to go along with 11 steals and four blocks.
Appleby started scoring his more traditional way at the start of the second half, hitting a running floater in the lane which was followed up by an NBA range three-pointer from the top the key.
On the other end, Alex Hamilton went sky-high for a block which he dribbled to half-court and dished to Appleby who hit another three. His eight straight points forced a timeout from SAU with the `Dogs up, 71-29, with 14:33 remaining.
Hamilton did a little bit of everything tonight, scoring nine points to go along with five rebounds, eight assists, five steals and two blocks.
The Bulldogs drove the win home from beyond the arc, making four more to bring their game total to 13. For the game, the team shot 42.6 percent from the field on 38-of-84 shooting.
Southern Arkansas was led by Nemo Sanchez who tallied a team-high 16 points.
This was the final preseason tune-up for the Bulldogs as they now turn their attention to the start of the 2013-14 season this Friday at Saint Mary's. Scheduled tip is 10:30 p.m.
"[We need] a similar effort in terms of our mentality and our enthusiasm and how hard we play," said White. "We are going to have to execute really well. We are going to have to make shots. It is going to have to be a total team effort to have success against one of the best mid-major programs in the country."
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