Bulldogs Storm Back to Down Mavericks
Nov. 17, 2015
RUSTON – Down double digits at intermission, Louisiana Tech stormed back in the second half to down UT Arlington, 80-68, to keep the home winning streak alive on Tuesday night in front of 3,012 fans inside the Thomas Assembly Center.
LA Tech (2-0) still found themselves trailing by 12 with 15:26 to play in the game, but the Bulldogs outscored UTA (1-1) the rest of the way, 44-20, to ultimately win by 12 and make it 32 straight victories in the TAC.
“We got into a rhythm because we started playing a lot harder and trusting each other,” said head coach Eric Konkol about the difference between the first 25 minutes and the last 15. “We made a few adjustments, some lineup changes, and tried to get a speedy group out there. They provided a spark. We had a few really good hustle plays and that really changed the momentum in the game.
“I thought tonight was a major opportunity to grow. We played against a good team that is very well coached. They run a lot of different offenses and defenses and we had to figure it out. There was a real lift; you could feel it in the second half. It sparked the guys and sparked the crowd. We just started to steam roll a little bit. I am just really proud of the guys for sticking together and pushing forward.”
Erik McCree carried the Bulldog offense in the first half with 12 points and tacked on eight more in the second half to give him a team-high 20 while playing a career-high 37 minutes of action.
Alex Hamilton equaled McCree’s minutes and added 15 points to go along with a team-high nine rebounds, the second straight game he has led the ‘Dogs on the boards.
The two star returners played a huge role in the win, but it was also the growing up of the newcomers that allowed LA Tech to get off to a 2-0 start for the first time since the 2009-10 season.
Da’Shawn Robinson got his first career start and during a 20-4 run to put the Bulldogs up by four, their first lead since the opening basket of the game, the junior college transfer knocked down two huge three-pointers and added a coast-to-coast layup for his eight points in the contest.
Despite giving up the lead, the Mavericks battled back to cut their deficit down to two, 59-57, with 5:43 remaining after one of Erick Neal’s three three-pointers.
From there, Derric Jean scored eight of his 12 points to help the home team pull away. His fellow freshman, Jy’lan Washington, provided nine points himself. And despite only playing 17 minutes due to foul trouble, Qiydar Davis was the fourth Bulldog in double figures with 12.
As a team, LA Tech shot 16-of-31 in the second stanza to boost their overall shooting to 47 percent (29-62). On defense, they forced 15 turnovers and outrebounded the Mavs, 47-43.
UTA was led by its cat quick point guard, Neal, who scored a game-high 23 points to go along with seven assists. They were limited to just eight second half made field goals, shooting a total clip of 24-of-74 for 32 percent.
LA Tech stays in Lincoln Parish for its next matchup, its first road game of the season. The ‘Dogs will make the short trip to face crosstown foe Grambling State on Saturday, Nov. 21 at 7 p.m.
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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