McCree, Boykins Lead Bulldogs to Win in Home Opener
Nov. 16, 2016
RUSTON – Forward Erik McCree and shooting guard Jacobi Boykins were basketball twins on Wednesday night as both players scored 18 points on 7-of-13 shooting to lead Louisiana Tech to an 87-56 victory over Alabama State inside the Thomas Assembly Center.
The win in the home opener was in large part due to the defensive dominance of LA Tech (1-1), forcing a whopping 25 turnovers which turned into 29 points. The ‘Dogs racked up 11 steals in the process just like they did in the season opener.
“I think we improved from our last game,” head coach Eric Konkol said. “I thought that we came together better and they did some things we asked them to do, like having more assists than turnovers. We still need to rebound the ball better, but I thought we were a more cohesive unit on both sides of the floor.
“I was pleased with the performance overall. Of course, there are things we can get better at, in cleaning up some of their misses, but they had a very good scorer in [Rodney] Simeon and I thought we were able to handle him pretty well tonight. It was a major emphasis and I thought the guys delivered.”
The home team smothered Alabama State (0-3) early, jumping out to a 15-6 lead eight minutes into the game which forced a timeout by the Hornets.
Holding on to a seven-point lead with still 8:30 to play in the first half, LA Tech put together a stretch where it made eight of nine field goals. The three-plus minute run finished with a 38-18 advantage in the game and was highlighted by dunks from Boykins, McCree and Jalen Harris.
Alabama State closed the gap to get to within 12 at the midway point, but the Bulldogs found their offensive stride again by opening the second stanza on a 17-4 run (six of those points coming from power forward Omar Sherman) which helped put the game away.
As a team, LA Tech shot 50.8 percent from the field on 33-of-65 shooting. Sherman finished with 13 points, his second straight game in double digits. The fourth Bulldog in double figures was point guard Derric Jean who tallied 10 points to go along with a career-high seven assists.
The ‘Dogs were able to hold the Hornets to 36.4 percent shooting (20-55) while also holding their top scorer Rodney Simeon to just four points on just one made field and two free throws. Torloft Thomas and Mikel Tyson led the way with 12 points apiece.
LA Tech hits the road again for a Saturday night tilt at Nebraska. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. and will be broadcast on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app.
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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