LA Tech Falls at Home to FGCU
Dec. 20, 2016
RUSTON – In a hard-fought battle between Louisiana Tech and Florida Gulf Coast that had nine ties and 12 scoring changes, the Eagles were able to take the final lead with 12 seconds to go to down the Bulldogs, 79-78, on Tuesday night inside the Thomas Assembly Center.
Back-and-forth it went, but LA Tech (7-5) took a one-point lead with 17:01 to play in the second half and never trailed up until that final basket by FGCU (8-5).
A beautifully designed play out of a timeout that started with Joniah White dishing it to Jacobi Boykins who came off a screen for the layup broke the ninth tie, giving the ‘Dogs a 78-76 edge with 53 seconds remaining.
However, the Eagles’ Zach Johnson countered with a made free throw and Rayjon Tucker pulled down the offensive rebound on the second attempt which turned into a running jumper by Brandon Goodwin to give the visiting team a one-point advantage.
Having committed only six turnovers all night as a team, the seventh one proved costly for LA Tech as the ball was taken away with just two seconds to go that ultimately snapped its 13-game home winning streak.
“We are disappointed,” head coach Eric Konkol said. “I thought we put ourselves in the position to win the game. It is a game of little things and doing little things well. We’ve got some youth on our team and we are learning. We have to be able to regroup, take a look at things we need to improve on and get ready for our next game.
“We needed to guard better and rebound better. The real difference was Florida Gulf Coast made some crucial threes, at times where we felt like we were going to make another run.”
It was scoring by committee early on for the Bulldogs, holding a 21-17 edge with 11 minutes to go in the first half. A six-minute scoring drought ensued though, allowing FGCU to go on a 10-0 run.
The Eagles’ largest lead would hit at 33-26, but the ‘Dogs were able to get short jumpers by Oliver Powell and Jalen Harris and a three-pointer from Erik McCree to tie it up at 33-all going into intermission.
McCree exploded in the second half, scoring 18 of his team-high 25 points in the final 20 minutes, to go along with a team-high 10 rebounds – his sixth double-double of the season.
LA Tech’s largest lead came at 67-59 after a block by Omar Sherman led to the big man putting in a layup with 8:56 left. The Eagles responded as they did all night, going on an 8-0 run to knot the game back up after hitting one of their 11 three-pointers.
The Bulldogs shot 29-of-60 from the field for 48 percent. Joining McCree in double figures were Harris who had 14 coming off the bench and Sherman who tallied 11 points. They finished with 19 assists, a career-high six from Boykins and five by DaQuan Bracey.
Florida Gulf Coast hit on 30-of-59 field goal attempts for 51 percent, its season average. Goodwin finished with a game-high 26 points while Demetris Morant had 18 points and 12 rebounds.
LA Tech wraps up non-conference play on Thursday, Dec. 22 versus LSU-Shreveport. Tipoff is set for 6:30 p.m. inside the Thomas Assembly Center.
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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