Bulldogs Come Up Just Short against Orange
Dec. 14, 2014
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Louisiana Tech was trying to do something that had only been done once in the last 55 attempts and that was beat Syracuse in non-conference play on its home court.
That one time came in the Orange's last game and the Bulldogs nearly made it back-to-back. Down by 10 with 3:46 left to go, the Bulldogs made one last run which pulled them even with the Orange, 69-69, with just 25 seconds left in the game.
After a block by Michale Kyser went out of bounds off of LA Tech, SU's Rakeem Christmas hit a contested hook shot off the in-bounds play with 2.8 seconds remaining and the home team escaped with a 71-69 win in front of 19,156 fans inside the Carrier Dome.
Alex Hamilton made nine straight points, including a hard drive to the basket for the lay-in, to tie it up with 25 ticks to go.
After the made shot by SU, LA Tech had one last try to grab the lead for good, something they had not had since five minutes into the game. Raheem Appleby, who tied Hamilton with a team-high 20 points, had an open half-court shot attempt come up just short grazing the bottom of the net.
Only done one at halftime, LA Tech started the second stanza just 1-of-7 from the field with two turnovers which turned into a 43-34 lead for Syracuse.
Every time the `Dogs would pull to within four or five points, the Orange would extend the lead back out to as many as 10.
Leo Edwards came off the bench to finish with a team-high five boards, none bigger than a hard-fought offensive rebound he converted into a three-point play to snap a 9-3 Orange run with 13 minutes left in the game.
A three-point play by Hamilton also broke up momentum by the Orange. The junior hit a corner three which was followed by a steal and a breakaway dunk by Appleby, his first points of the second half after scoring 15 in the first on a perfect 6-of-6 shooting. The five-point swing had LA Tech trailing 54-50 with 7:12 to go.
However, the pendulum swung back in favor of SU when Trevor Cooney then made five of his game-high 25 during a stretch run, including a fall away three-pointer, to give the Orange a nine-point edge yet again.
The Bulldogs largest lead was at 12-9, forcing four turnovers in the first four minutes of action, but the Orange responded with an 8-0 run and never relinquished the lead .
LA Tech ended up forcing a total of 17 turnovers, including eight by SU's point guard Kaleb Joseph. On the flipside, self-inflicted turnovers hurt the Bulldogs who also had 17 total giveaways.
As a team, the `Dogs managed to shoot 24-of-53 from the field for 45 percent against one of the best defenses in the country. They managed to score only eight points in the first 10 minutes of the second half, but finished strong scoring 30 more the rest of the way.
Kyser was the third Bulldog in double figures with 10 points to go along with five rebounds and four rejections.
Aside from Cooney's clutch performance, SU's Tyler Robertson came off the bench to snag a double-double with 14 points and a game-high 17 boards.
LA Tech returns home on Thursday, Dec. 18 to host Nicholls State. Tipoff is set for 6:30 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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