Nov. 20, 2012
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - A back and forth, physical battle between Louisiana Tech (4-1) and Chattanooga (1-4) ended with the Bulldogs pulling away late behind guard Raheem Appleby's matched career-high of 30 points to beat the Mocs 71-63 and complete the three wins in three days sweep in the CBE Hall of Fame Classic at the McKenzie Arena.
The chippy first half led to 21 personal fouls between both clubs, but the Bulldogs managed to build their largest lead of the game with five seconds remaining on Kenneth Smith's three-pointer. LA Tech took a 42-34 lead into halftime.
The Bulldogs were an impressive 7-of-13 from three-point range and had the eight point lead despite being outrebounded 19-12 by the home team.
Chattanooga came out in a 2-3 zone defense and stayed in it the rest of the game. Missed three-pointers by the `Dogs allowed the Mocs to pull even 58-58 at the 6:46 mark.
The LA Tech press defense came alive from there, forcing a total of 24 turnovers in the game. Appleby put the offense on his back the rest of the way to score nine of his 30 in the final four minutes of play.
LA Tech has now won four straight games and won their first tournament of any kind since the Bulldogs took the conference championship in 1991 en route to the NCAA Tournament, the last time the `Dogs went to the Dance.
Forwards Drazen Zlovaric and Z. Mason combined for 18 of their 39 rebounds and guard Gee McGhee led them with 19 points.
The Bulldogs will now set their sights on the ULM Warhawks when they face off with the I-20 neighbor on Saturday, Nov. 24, in the Thomas Assembly Center at 7 p.m.