Bulldogs Rally to Down Eagles, 71-50

Nov. 27, 2015

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RUSTON – On an off-shooting night, Louisiana Tech had to turn to its defense to try to remain undefeated and that is exactly what it did.

The Bulldogs ended up forcing 22 turnovers and held North Carolina Central to 28 percent shooting in coming away with a 71-50 victory in front of 4,227 fans on Friday night inside the Thomas Assembly Center.

LA Tech (5-0) is now off to its best start to the regular season since 1990 and continued its winning ways at the TAC by extending the home court winning streak to 33 games.

“The guys really responded to the different defenses and made adjustments,” head coach Eric Konkol said. “They did a really good job in the second half of coming together, playing a little bit harder. I give North Carolina Central a lot of credit for their game plan, but I give our guys a lot of credit for adjusting and coming together.”

The Bulldogs came into tonight having scored at least 80 points in every game this season. Alex Hamilton and Erik McCree had scored in double figures in every game this season.

But neither recorded at least 10 points and the basketball spun out, rimmed out, clanked off, every possible way that denied it from going through the net.

This was especially the case in the first half. Despite holding NCCU (1-4) without a field goal for a stretch of exactly eight minutes, the ‘Dogs still found themselves down, 27-24, at intermission after shooting just 2-of-12 from beyond the arc and 2-of-8 from the charity stripe.

At halftime, coach Konkol wanted more effort from his players and that is what he got.

LA Tech opened the second half on an 11-0 run to quickly take an eight-point lead, 35-27, a run that was ignited by Alex Hamilton who assisted on two layups and then had a steal which turned into a breakaway slam.

“We needed to play off of our defense, both in the half-court and full-court,” Konkol said. “In the full-court, we needed to score a little bit. We started making a few shots and got to the basket. We certainly wanted to speed the game up and play at our tempo. That happened in the second half and it really helped us.”

The lead grew by as much as 25 with Dayon Griffin’s three-pointer with 5:49 left to play in the game.

The shooting numbers improved a little as the team shot 26-of-64 from the field (41 percent) and 4-of-24 from three-point range (17 percent) but the ‘Dogs had 22 fast break points and 23 points off turnovers.

Qiydar Davis led the way in scoring and rebounding as the senior notched his first career double-double with 13 points and 10 boards. Griffin registered a career-high 11 points and Jacobi Boykins scored 10, posting double figures for the third straight game.

The Eagles had two players score double digits – Dante Holmes and Dajuan Graf with 14 and 12 points, respectively.

LA Tech completes its participation in the 2015 Basketball Hall of Fame Invitational on Tuesday, Dec. 1 when they travel to take on Memphis. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. CT and will be broadcast live on CBS Sports Network.

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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