Speedy Sets Career Steals Mark, Bulldogs Sweep Weekend

Nov. 23, 2014

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RUSTON - It was another day with another fallen record and another victory.

Less than 24 hours after Michale Kyser became the all-time career blocks leader at Louisiana Tech, Kenneth Smith became the all-time career steals leader with the magic number being 192.

The point guard needed just one for the record but finished with three steals which ignited a defense that forced 21 turnovers in leading the Bulldogs to a 76-48 win over Presbyterian to complete the weekend sweep of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic on Sunday evening at the Thomas Assembly Center.

This marked the third straight year that LA Tech (4-1) has won three games in three days in an early season tournament. They also did it in 2012 in the CBE Hall of Fame Classic in Chattanooga, Tennessee and again in 2013 in the Gulf Coast Showcase in Fort Myers, Florida.

"I thought it was a really productive week for us," head coach Michael White said. "We got better this week in preparation for this tournament. I thought we stepped up physically against Morehead State and then I thought we stepped up mentally against a really structured program in American with a quick turn. Then on day three I thought was more about leadership and maturity than anything.

"Guys were mentally and physically fatigued to a certain extent. I was proud of our approach from the tip. Our unselfishness was off the charts. I was proud of the way we came out of the gates in the second half and set the tone again defensively."

Twelve Bulldogs logged quality minutes on the day with 11 of them scoring. The newcomer with the most impressive performance was Qiydar Davis who in just 15 minutes of action produced game-highs in points with 17 and rebounds with nine.

"I wanted to play deep to the bench today," White said. "I did not just want to evaluate guys in the last four minutes of the game when the game is different. I wanted to be able to evaluate a few guys in the heat of the moment while the game is in question.

"Qiydar Davis was the best player on the floor for us and probably overall. He was a huge spark plug for us defensively. It was great to see him excel and earn more minutes tonight."

Despite seven early turnovers, Presbyterian (1-4) kept it close behind 60 percent shooting from the field to only be down 18-17 with 9:31 remaining in the first half.

The Blue Hose then had a chance to take the lead on the next possession, but Speedy came up with steal No. 192 which led to a fast break layup by Davis.

After PC's Jordan Downing cut the deficit back to one on a lay-in, LA Tech closed out the half on a 20-4 run to take a 40-23 halftime advantage into the locker room.

Davis essentially put the game away in the second half with back-to-back old fashion three-point plays to give the Bulldogs a 52-31 lead with 12:26 to go.

The LA Tech defense ended up forcing 21 turnovers which led to 28 points.

Erik McCree joined Davis in double figures with 11 points. The redshirt sophomore has scored at least 10 points in all five games so far this season. True freshman Jacobi Boykins added 10.

When Speedy was not stealing the ball, he was dishing it to the tune of eight assists. The senior can also shoot it when he wants to, draining his lone shot of the game - a three-pointer.

Presbyterian was led by Downing and William Truss who each scored 12 points.

LA Tech's next action comes Friday, Nov. 28 when the Bulldogs host Samford at the Thomas Assembly Center in a 7 p.m. contest that will be broadcast on ASN.

For all the latest in Bulldog Basketball, follow them on Twitter (@LATechHoops), Instagram (@LATechHoops) and Facebook (LATechMBB) or on the official website at LATechSports.com.

 

 

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