Kyser Sets Blocks Record in 63-44 Win over American
Nov. 22, 2014
RUSTON - It was not a matter of if but when.
Senior forward Michale Kyser has rapidly climbed in the Louisiana Tech record books with his shot blocking ability and on Saturday night in the 63-44 victory over American, he set the career mark for most rejections in front of 2,868 fans at the Thomas Assembly Center.
The block came three minutes deep into the second half giving him 269 for his career which surpassed Willie Simmons.
While Kyser was a beast on defense with three rejections on the night to go along with a game-high seven rebounds, he also scored 12 points as LA Tech (3-1) put up 63 points on an American (2-2) defense who came in allowing just 41 points per game.
"It was a big win against an NCAA Tournament program in American University," head coach Michael White said. "They are a very structured opponent, especially offensively, and underrated defensively.
"Lucky enough we had Michale Kyser in the middle cleaning up a lot of our mistakes. I thought our pressure was good enough to at least buy us some time to have to guard less actions in the half court. Offensively I thought it was as good as we have played against a really good defense. It was a good win for our program."
The Bulldogs held just a slim 12-10 lead over the Eagles midway through the first period. Both teams were shooting 50 percent from the field up to that point, but the scoring was limited due to the long possessions that were aided by AU's zone defense and its Princeton offense.
With 6:59 to go before halftime, Kyser had his lone assist of the night on a beautiful bounce pass to Erik McCree for the layup. Then on the next offensive possession, McCree drained a three from the wing to give the `Dogs a 24-16 advantage. McCree was 4-of-4 from the field with 13 points before picking up his second foul and being forced to sit.
After two made free throws by the Eagles to cut the deficit to six, Kenneth Smith dished two perfect passes to Kyser for a couple two-handed slams. Sandwiched in between the dunks was a made jumper by Alex Hamilton giving LA Tech a 30-18 advantage with 3:40 left in the first stanza.
"I love Michale Kyser," White said. "I am very, very proud of him. He is unselfish to a fault. He never worries about shots and scoring. He worries about how he can help this team and this program win games."
American was able to slice the deficit down to eight on a made three by John Schoof with 11:22 remaining in the game, but LA Tech went on a 14-4 run over the next eight minutes highlighted by a steal by Raheem Appleby who went coast-to-coast for the contested lay-in.
The lead ballooned to as much as 21 boefre the Bulldogs sealed their 15th straight victory at home.
Appleby finished with a game-high 16 points and McCree added 13. Both players have now scored in double figures in all four games this season. As a team, the `Dogs shot 51 percent (24-of-47) from the field.
The Bulldogs also took advantage of 13 American turnovers, scoring 18 points off turnovers, while American scored just two points off turnovers.
AU was held to just 34 percent (16-of-47) shooting, led by Pee Wee Gardner who recorded 11 points.
LA Tech's next action comes Sunday afternoon in the Bulldogs final game of the weekend in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic when they take on Presbyterian at 4 p.m. in the Thomas Assembly Center. The contest will be broadcast live on ASN.
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