Defense Leads the Charge in 65-52 Win for Bulldogs
Dec. 6, 2014
RUSTON - The Louisiana Tech defensive pressure cranked up a few extra notches on Saturday night, forcing Jackson State into 22 turnovers which led to a 65-52 victory by the Bulldogs in front of 4,038 fans in the Thomas Assembly Center.
LA Tech (7-1) scored 32 points off of those turnovers in picking up its sixth straight victory and its 18th straight in the TAC.
"I thought we got off to a really slow start offensively," head coach Michael White said. "We never really got into a great offensive rhythm, credit to Jackson State and Wayne Brent. They were really prepared and their zone was very active.
"We addressed some things at halftime and I was really proud of the starting five and the start they got us off to in the second half defensively. We did not finish the game like we should have, but there are some positives especially with our full-court and half-court defense."
Rebounding has been a thorn in the Bulldogs' side this early season and it showed again tonight, especially in the early going when Jackson State (1-7) pulled down four straight offensive rebounds and got an eventual tip-in to take a 13-12 lead with 11 minutes left in the first half.
However, for the next five minutes of action the `Dogs went on a 12-2 run which was sparked by Kenneth Smith who hit an NBA-range three and then assisted on a three-pointer by Raheem Appleby and an alley-oop dunk by Michale Kyser.
JSU climbed right back into it though thanks in large part to its 26-14 advantage on the boards, cutting the deficit to one, 27-26, at the halftime mark.
After Yettra Specks connected on a 12-foot jumper to give the Tigers the lead back two minutes deep into the second stanza, the defensive pressure by LA Tech went into another gear led by the full-court press.
Four forced turnovers paved the way for a 14-1 run to give the home team a 41-29 advantage with 14:25 left in the game.
Five straight points by Dre'Sean Looney sliced the LA Tech lead down to seven, but individual defensive efforts from Kyser who had seven blocks and Alex Hamilton and Smith who combined for seven steals turned into a 59-41 lead with five minutes to go, the largest lead for the Bulldogs.
"We put [Michale Kyser] at the point of the press at times, who personnel wise played as well as anyone and was probably the best player on the floor," White said. "Defensively, you could not ask for anymore. He has been all over the floor these last couple of games."
Hamilton finished with a team-high 13 points, the second straight game he has led the team in scoring. Kyser added nine points and nine rebounds on top of his rejections and Smith tallied 10 assists for the second straight game.
JSU was led by Kaven Bernard who registered a game-high 15 points.
LA Tech now heads south to face Louisiana-Lafayette on Wednesday, Dec. 10 at 7 p.m. in the Cajun Dome.
For all the latest in Bulldog Basketball, follow them on Twitter (@LATechHoops), Instagram (@LATechHoops) or Facebook (LATechMBB) or visit the official website at LATechSports.com.
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