Veterans Bounce Back to Propel Bulldogs to Home Win

Nov. 27, 2016

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RUSTON – It was redemption day for Louisiana Tech veterans Erik McCree and Jacobi Boykins.

Four days after both had one of their worst shooting performances of their career, the duo combined for 44 points which included eight three-pointers to propel the Bulldogs to a 74-53 victory over Maryland Eastern Shore on Sunday afternoon inside the Thomas Assembly Center.

McCree and Boykins went through a first half stretch of making 25 straight points for LA Tech (3-2), but the ‘Dogs only held a five-point edge at intermission.

The team exploded in the second half though, outscoring Eastern Shore 43-27 in the stanza. Boykins finished with a career-high 26 points while hitting a personal-best six three-pointers. McCree cashed in for 18 points and a game-high nine rebounds.

“I am proud of [Erik McCree and Jacobi Boykins],” head coach Eric Konkol said. “They spent all night here after Wednesday’s game. I don’t know if they slept here, but they shot the basketball an awful lot. They have been really dialed in. They want to play well. They want to play well for their teammates and for our fans here. I was happy to see that type of breakout game for them.”

The Bulldogs missed their first four shots to start the second half, allowing the Hawks to quickly pull back to within one possession.

However, a steal turned into a fast-break layup by Derric Jean ignited a stretch that saw LA Tech make seven straight field goals. Of those seven there was a three-pointer apiece from McCree, Boykins and Qiydar Davis and a couple of thundering slams by Omar Sherman. The run allowed the ‘Dogs to build a 50-38 lead with 13:16 to play in the game.

The tempo and ball movement on offense continued throughout the second stanza thanks in large part to the point guard tandem of Jean and DaQuan Bracey who combined for 17 of the team’s 21 assists. Jean registered his first career double-double with 14 points and 11 dimes.

“I thought that we played a pretty complete game defensively,” Konkol said. “Offensively though, in the first half we could not get into a rhythm. They were changing defenses and we were not able to get the ball inside very much. We did not have great balance there. I thought in the second half we were able to push the basketball and play off of our defense.

“I was very pleased with Derric Jean and DaQuan Bracey, with how they pushed the basketball. They found Jacobi Boykins several times from three. We were able to get some momentum and it really sparked us.”

Boykins was the recipient of a lot of those passes and fast-breaks, nailing two more three-pointers down the stretch to put the game away. He finished 8-of-11 shooting to go along with four rebounds, two assists, three blocks and two steals.

The Bulldogs ended up shooting 59 percent from the field and 55 percent from beyond the arc in the second half. For the game, they had their best shooting performance of the season at 51 percent from the field (28-55) and 41 percent from three-point range (11-27).

MDES was limited to just 21-of-62 shooting (34 percent). The Hawks had two players score in double figures – Bakari Copeland with 14 and Dontae Caldwell with 10.

LA Tech hits the road again for its next contest which comes at California. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. CT and will be broadcast on the Pac-12 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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