Bulldogs Blow Past Tigers in Road Victory
Nov. 21, 2015
GRAMBLING, La. – With the return of three players to put Louisiana Tech at almost full strength, the Bulldogs had their first road test and passed by blowing past crosstown foe Grambling State, 86-67, Saturday night inside the Fredrick C. Hobdy Assembly Center.
Veterans Alex Hamilton and Erik McCree led the charge by each scoring 13 points and true freshman Derric Jean came off the bench to register 11, giving LA Tech (3-0) its best start to the season since 1998.
“I thought we really shared the basketball very well,” head coach Eric Konkol said. “We played a very unselfish style. We got a lot of assists and we took care of the basketball. That was really our charge in practice this week after our last game. I thought they responded well to that. I also really liked how our new guys mixed in with the old and had some nice chemistry.”
After having a poor assist-turnover ratio in the last game against UT Arlington with 11 assists and 18 turnovers, sharing and taking care of the basketball was the story of the night.
The Bulldogs ended up with 24 assists (on 34 made field goals) while also committing just five turnovers. On the flipside, they forced 17 turnovers which were converted into 25 points.
The debuts of Jacobi Boykins, Joniah White and LeAntwan Luckett no doubt helped in all areas. Coach Konkol was able to use multiple lineups and sub at will to keep bodies fresh. The bench ended up tallying 37 points, a combined 20 coming from the new trio.
Then there was the savvy senior point guard Hamilton, who along with his scoring ability also dished out a game-high nine assists to go along with four steals.
“I will take 24 assists and five turnovers every single night,” Konkol said. “I was very happy because it has not been our strong suit yet and it is something we have really been working on in practice. It felt like we got into a nice rhythm tonight and I was happy with that.
“Alex really looked like a point guard tonight with speed and great pace and feel. He delivered the ball on time and on target. He took a real step forward tonight for us and really led this team.”
Grambling State (1-3) took an early 4-3 lead, but that would be the only lead they would have as the ’Dogs went on a 14-1 run to force a timeout by the Tigers.
The point advantage hovered around 10 in favor of LA Tech before Jean hit back-to-back three-pointers and Dayon Griffin and Boykins followed soon thereafter with a three-ball of their own to help take a commanding 43-24 lead at halftime.
The lead was never in jeopardy, ballooning to as much as 75-47 with 5:39 to play in the game.
The ‘Dogs finished the game 34-of-66 from the field for 52 percent shooting.
GSU was limited to just 46 shot attempts on the night, making 19 to settle in at 41 percent. Nigel Riberio led all scorers with 28 points.
LA Tech continues its participation in the Basketball Hall of Fame Invitational on Tuesday, Nov. 24 when they travel to take on Ohio State. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. CT and will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network.
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