Bulldogs Down Pilots; Extend Home Winning Streak

Dec. 8, 2015

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RUSTON – Louisiana Tech has had to come from behind in almost every home game this season, but that was not required on Tuesday night as the Bulldogs used a 28-5 run in the first half to help down LSU-Shreveport, 82-49, in front of 3,612 fans inside the Thomas Assembly Center.

The game was knotted up at 7-7 just five minutes in, but LA Tech (7-1) forced nine of the Pilots 23 turnovers over the next 10 minutes.

The last turnover resulted in one of Dayon Griffin’s three three-pointers to help give the sophomore, who was making the start in place of the injured Qiydar Davis, a career-high 14 points and six rebounds.

Senior Alex Hamilton led the way though with a game-high 18 points to go along with six assists and two steals.

As a team, the Bulldogs shot a season-high 51.6 percent from the field (32-of-62), doing most of their damage in the paint with 46 points, in what was the 35th straight home win which is the second longest active streak in the country.

“I thought our guys came out with some good energy and caused a lot of turnovers early to get us into a good rhythm,” head coach Eric Konkol said. “We got into a lull late in the first half and they scored on eight-of-nine possessions, so I was not pleased with that.

“LSU-Shreveport was averaging about 19 turnovers a game. We forced a good number in the first half. We took the pressure off in the final 10 minutes and tried to guard in the half court. I thought we had some good activity and our pursuit angles were better than they have been. It was good to see it happen tonight.”

Despite the strong start to the game, LSUS (4-5) hung in by using a 10-1 run to close the first stanza and be down 41-28 at intermission.

A layup by Nevin Johnson cut the deficit to 11, but that would be as close as the Pilots would get as Griffin and Hamilton combined for three made shots from beyond the arc during what was a 13-2 run to put the visitors away for good.

The Bulldogs still held true to their typical second half performances, holding LSUS to just 18 percent shooting in the period.

“In the second half we really settled in and guarded,” Konkol said. “That is really what we have been trying to work on, even with our smaller lineup. We want to make people miss and chase the ball down. I thought we did that better in the second half.”

Erik McCree was the third Bulldog in double figures, scoring 11 points. Freshman Derric Jean came off the bench to provide quality minutes with four points, a team-high eight boards and five assists.

LSUS finished the night shooting 18-of-58 from the field for 31 percent. The Pilots were led by Johnson who scored 17 points and Josh Walker who registered a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.

LA Tech returns to action on Saturday, Dec. 12 with a showdown against in-state foe Louisiana-Lafayette. The “Loyal Blue Out” is set for a 12 p.m. tipoff inside the Thomas Assembly Center and will be broadcast live on the American Sports 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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