Bulldogs Balanced in 98-65 Victory
Dec. 5, 2016
RUSTON – It was a triple threat for Louisiana Tech on Monday night as Erik McCree, Jacobi Boykins and Derric Jean each scored 20 points to lead the Bulldogs to a 98-65 victory over Alcorn State inside the Thomas Assembly Center.
For McCree, it was his third straight double-double as the redshirt senior had a game-high 11 rebounds. For Jean, it was a career high in points. And for Boykins, it was 5-of-6 shooting from beyond the arc.
It was not just Boykins who was on fire from long range though. The entire LA Tech (5-3) team shot 13-of-21 from three-point range. The scoring trio tonight was 11-of-15 combined from downtown while Jy’lan Washington came off the bench to drain a couple of three’s as well.
“I thought we came in with the right mindset, even after our long trip to Cal and playing two games in three nights,” head coach Eric Konkol said. “I was proud of our guys for really bringing that type of energy and that type of focus in the game plan. They came out and executed. We got into a good rhythm offensively. We had a lot of energy on defense to be able to build a lead early.”
Just like in the previous game against Southeastern Louisiana, the Bulldogs jumped on Alcorn State (2-6) early by opening up the game with 11 straight points.
The Braves missed on their first four shots, but settled down about five minutes into the contest and made six of their next nine to slice the deficit down to six at 20-14 with 12:07 to play in the first stanza.
However, LA Tech went on another run – 14-2 to be exact – which involved two three-pointers from Boykins and one apiece from Jean and Washington. Jean dropped in the last seven points of the first half to give the ‘Dogs a comfortable 47-22 advantage going into intermission.
“Balance is always the key and we feel like we have several guys that can contribute in a big way,” Konkol said. “There are nights where you aren’t sure which guy can do it and thankfully that balance came tonight in five guys with double-figures and that is always a great sign of sharing the basketball and having great balance in your offense.”
Alcorn State put together another solid offensive stretch, this one to start the second half, by making seven of their first nine baskets that ultimately made the game 52-33 at the 16:53 mark and forced a timeout by the home team.
Coming out of the break, Boykins made three free throws after being fouled on a three-point attempt. Then it was Boykins who came up with a steal that was finished with a dunk by Joniah White on the assist from DaQuan Bracey, one of his career-tying eight in what was his second straight start (only one turnover).
Omar Sherman and Washington were the other two Bulldogs who scored in double figures with 13 and 10 points, respectively. The 10 by Washington off the bench tied a career high.
For the second straight game, LA Tech shot 56 percent from the field (34-of-61). They also had their second straight double-digit rebounding margin, winning the boards 40-to-30.
The Braves were limited to 39 percent shooting from the field (25-64) and 24 percent shooting from three-point range (5-21). They were anchored by Reginal Johnson who poured in a game-high 25 points.
“I think we have really been able to find the formula for us and how we can be a good defensive team,” Konkol said. “The guys have really taken ownership in that. They are committed to being a great defensive team. We are rebounding pretty well. We are contesting shots and making people miss. We are still forcing a few turnovers. We want to have good balance and that is certainly our mantra going forward.”
LA Tech now hits the road, heading south to battle in-state foe Louisiana-Lafayette on Saturday, Dec. 10. Tipoff is set for 7:15 p.m.
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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