Nov. 30, 2012
ATLANTA, Ga. - The Louisiana Tech (7-1) men's basketball team fell behind early in the game 14-7, but the Bulldogs cruised to their seventh straight win behind guard Raheem Appleby's career-high 34 points in an 86-68 final over Georgia State (3-4) on Friday night at the GSU Sports Arena.
GSU's guard R.J. Hunter opened the game with seven of the Panthers first nine points. After the first media timeout was called with 13:29 to go in the first stanza, the Bulldogs erupted for a 34-16 run to close the half and take the lead going into the locker room 44-30.
The scoring combo of Appleby and Cordarius Johnson accounted for 33 of the `Dogs first half points, including four three-pointers by Johnson.
"We try to stay positive and say we are getting great looks," said head coach Michael White. "The same looks just started to fall. Cordarius Johnson really got us going. Raheem Appleby started getting his in-between game shots off of close outs because the ball kept moving versus their matchup zone."
The relentless Bulldogs jumped on the Panthers right out of the gates in the second half, breaking through the different zone looks by Georgia State and building a quick 10-0 run in just 1:18 to force a timeout by the opponent.
LA Tech continued their pressure on GSU, increasing their lead by as much as 28 points, 64-36, at the 14:57 mark in the second stanza, and controlled the game the rest of the way to start the season 7-1 for only the second time in the last 20 years.
Appleby would have the hot-hand on the night finishing 14-of-19 from the field, setting another new career-high in field goals made while also adding a season-high seven rebounds on the defensive side.
The shooting rhythm by the reigning WAC Player of the Week was certainly something coach White took notice of and was impressed with.
"[Raheem Appleby] has just a terrific basketball sense and feel for the game," said White. "He just knows when to go and when to stop, and when to change directions. He had an unbelievable game."
Guard Kenneth Smith chipped in with a season-high 15 points, 13 of which came in the second half, and dished out six assists, making it the seventh game this season he has had at least five assists in each game.
Hunter led the Panthers with a team-high 23 points and also tallied seven rebounds and four steals.
The Bulldogs will stay on the road and travel to Natchitoches, La. on Tuesday night, Dec. 4, where they will face Northwestern State at 7:30 p.m. CT. at the Prather Coliseum.
For complete coverage of Louisiana Tech Men's Basketball, please follow @LATechHoops on Twitter or visit the official home of Louisiana Tech Athletics at www.LATechSports.com.