Dec. 22, 2013
MONROE, La. - After having to practice in the dark in Fant-Ewing Coliseum the night before due to a power outage, Louisiana Tech then shot the lights out on Sunday night versus ULM.
The Bulldogs shot 57.1 percent from the field, led by Alex Hamilton who nearly pulled off the double-double with a team-high 17 points and a career-high nine rebounds to take the dominant 83-61 win over the I-20 neighbor Warhawks.
Perimeter shooting was the key to the victory which marked the sixth straight for LA Tech (10-3) over the Warhawks. ULM (3-4) came into the contest undefeated at home and with the No. 1 ranked three-point percentage defense in the country.
The Bulldogs went 9-of-18 from beyond the arc which allowed the team to setup its imposing press that produced 25 points off of 17 forced turnovers.
"We put together a complete 40 minutes and played one of our better games against a really solid team," said head coach Michael White. "ULM is very good. Their defensive numbers scared me the most coming into this game. Fortunately, we made shots.
"Defensively, I thought we were equally as good. We got some turnovers which allowed us to get out into the open floor. We had good performances by eight or nine guys, not two or three, which always helps."
In 24 minutes of action, Michale Kyser came up big again for the second consecutive game with 10 points, six rebounds and four rejections.
With a crowd of 4,107 in attendance, LA Tech quickly silenced the ULM faithful by opening the game with a 19-5 run. The bench played a big part during the stretch as C. Johnson and Isaiah Massey combined for nine straight points to grab the 14-point lead.
After ULM went on a 5-0 run to get the deficit down to single digits, Kenyon McNeail and C. Johnson hit back-to-back three pointers.
"I think it was huge rather than making shots late," said White about the early lead. "We got out to a pretty good lead and the crowd was not as big of a factor as it could have been. Tonight, we just happened to be really good offensively, really efficient. We played with maturity with a lead. I was proud of our guards. Our bigs gave us production as well. Overall, it was a really good performance."
Meanwhile the Warhawks leading scorer, Amos Olatayo, got three early fouls to hinder the opposition even more.
C. Johnson had 10 points in the first half which was only overshadowed by Hamilton's amazing performance.
The sophomore had eight points, eight rebounds, four assists, two blocks and two steals. It was only fitting that his hard-nosed drive to the bucket for a layup ended the first stanza, giving Tech a 48-30 halftime advantage.
ULM's Tylor Ongwae was the only piece keeping the Warhawks in the game at this point, scoring 13 of the team's total points.
The Bulldog defense forced three straight turnovers to open the second half to help go on a 6-0 run, quickly stretching its lead to 54-30.
Ongwae ended the night with a game-high 20 points for ULM. As a team, the Warhawks were 24-of-62 from the field for 38.7 percent.
LA Tech returns to action after Christmas break to take on the Oklahoma Sooners on Monday, Dec. 30 in Norman, Okla. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.
For complete coverage of LA Tech Men's Basketball, please follow @LATechHoops on Twitter or visit the official home of Louisiana Tech Athletics at www.LATechSports.com.