LA Tech Falls in Jim Thorpe Classic Finale
Nov. 27, 2011
LARAMIE, Wyo. – The Louisiana Tech men’s basketball (2-3) team dropped the last game of the Jim Thorpe Classic to host-school Wyoming (6-1) 73-58 Sunday night at Arena-Auditorium as sophomore guard Cordarius Johnson (Coushatta, La.) scored 16 points, 12 of them in the second half.
After the Bulldogs tied the game at 6-6 at the 16:27 mark of the first half on a three-pointer by sophomore Kenyon McNeail (Conway, Ark.), the Cowboys went on a 12-2 run over the next 6:10 to take an 18-8 advantage. The run was ended on a three-point play from senior guard Trevor Gaskins (Alpharetta, Ga.).
Down 27-16 with 4:43 remaining in the period, the next 3:33 saw Tech go on a 7-2 run to cut the deficit to 6 as senior forward Romario Souza (Mias Gerias, Brazil) scoring four points on a jumper and two free throws.
In the second half, the Bulldogs cut Wyoming’s lead to 10 at the 12:06 mark, 46-36, after a three-point basket from McNeail that was followed by a monstrous dunk from freshman forward Isaiah Massey (McDonough, Ga.).
The 10 point disadvantage was as close as Tech would get the rest of the way as the Cowboys shot just under 52 percent from the field and were a perfect 13-of-13 from the free throw line in the second period.
For the game, Tech shot 37 percent (19-51) from the field and 39 percent (7-18) from behind the arc. They improved greatly at the free throw line shooting 13-of-17 (76.5%) including a 6-of-7 performance from Souza.
McNeail scored 13 while Souza added 10 points and shared the team-high of five rebounds with Johnson. Freshman guard Kenneth Smith (St. Petersburg, Fla.) had a game-high four assists.
Freshman forward Michale Kyser (Lancaster, Texas) was named to the all-tournament team for his back-to-back 10 point performances in the first two games of the classic.
For Wyoming, Luke Martinez scored 20 points while Francisco Cruz and Adam Waddell added 18 and 11, respectively. Larry Nance Jr. had a game-best nine rebounds.
As a team the Cowboys shot 48 percent (21-44) from the field including 50 percent (11-22) on three-pointers. From the free throw line, Wyoming missed only one shot as they went 20-for-21.
Jim Thorpe Classic All-Tournament Team
Percy Woods, G, Maryland Eastern Shore
Michale Kyser, F, Louisiana Tech
Charles Odum, G, Portland State
Chehales Tapscott, F, Portland State
Francisco Cruz, G, Wyoming
Tournament MVP: Luke Martinez, G, Wyoming
LA Tech continues their six games away from Ruston as they travel to face Southeastern Louisiana Wednesday night at 7 p.m.
For the latest and most current information on Bulldogs basketball, visit the official home of Louisiana Tech Athletics at LATechSports.com and following sports information director Phillip Pongratz on Twitter at www.twitter.com/LATechPPongratz.