Hamilton, Bulldogs Grab 66-63 Win Over Eagles
Dec. 22, 2015
FORT MYERS, Fla. – In a return to his home state, the Florida native Alex Hamilton had a nice homecoming by scoring a game-high 26 points as Louisiana Tech picked up a 66-63 road win over Florida Gulf Coast on Tuesday night inside Alico Arena.
Also part of the five Floridians on the team was Jacobi Boykins who had perhaps the play of the game. With LA Tech (10-2) leading by two with 35 seconds left, Merrill Holden missed two free throws but Boykins flew in for the offensive rebound and putback which helped the Bulldogs grab win No. 10 of the season.
“We knew this was going to be a really physical, hard-playing team that we were going to play tonight,” head coach Eric Konkol said. “We also knew it was probably going to be one of those games where it would not be an up-and-down game like we typically play. Florida Gulf Coast is so well coached.
“It was not pretty. We did not shoot the ball well, certainly not from three or the foul line, but I am proud of our guys for battling through a lot of different adversity and finding a way, especially doing it on the road.”
It was a night when the ‘Dogs, sporting red uniforms for the first time this season, were not feeling it from beyond the arc (2-of-17) or the foul line (6-of-13). That did not affect their defense though, especially in the second half after the team went down 50-44 with 12:03 to go.
The Bulldogs clawed back, tying it up at 54-54, until Hamilton waved off a screen in a late shot clock situation and buried that second team three-pointer.
FGCU (6-6) pulled to within one on its lone three-pointer of the second stanza, this after shooting 50 percent from downtown in the first half, but Hamilton proved once again to be unstoppable as he responded with a driving layup to the basket.
“Alex is a big time player,” Konkol said. “He has started a lot of games in a row. He has a chance to be the school’s all-time wins leader. In this young season and our first year together, he has made big plays many times. He is not afraid of big moments. He has done it different ways either with a pass or a stop or a big shot. He is a very smart player.”
After a made free throw by Hamilton to put LA Tech up 66-63 with 21 seconds to go, the Eagles could only muster a highly-contested three-pointer with two seconds left which resulted in an air ball.
FGCU had no answer for Hamilton who went 12-of-16 from the field, a new career high in made field goals in a single game. Fellow Florida teammate Erik McCree was the other Bulldog in double figures with 12 points.
The Eagles, who were held to a season-low 51 shot attempts, had three players score in double digits, led by Christian Terrell who had 16.
This marked the fourth time this season that the Bulldogs have trailed at halftime but came back for the victory. They were down 36-32 at intermission.
LA Tech returns home for its final non-conference game of the season on Monday, Dec. 28 when it takes on Prairie View A&M. It will be the first of a four-game home stand inside the Thomas Assembly Center. Tipoff is set for 6:30 p.m.
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