Hamilton Sets Free Throw Record; Bulldogs Down Panthers
Dec. 28, 2015
RUSTON – In his three-plus years at Louisiana Tech, Alex Hamilton has made a living at the foul line which culminated on Monday night with setting the program record for career made free throws.
The senior guard hit No. 471 from the charity stripe and then some as he registered a double-double with a game-high 23 points and 10 assists to help down Prairie View A&M, 77-58, inside the Thomas Assembly Center in what was the final non-conference game of the season.
Hamilton scored or assisted on the four field goals in the first four minutes of action for LA Tech (11-2) which generated a 10-0 lead and an eventual wire-to-wire victory.
“You always want to get off to a good start,” head coach Eric Konkol said. “We have stuck with the same starting lineup the past couple of games. We are trying to build a little continuity there. The guys got off to a good start. We executed on offense. We got a couple of turnovers that led to transition. That led to an early lead and we were able to hold it.”
Flirting with a triple-double yet again, Hamilton tacked on a team-high seven rebounds, but it was his offensive efficiency that spearheaded the 38th straight win in the TAC. Combined with a 7-of-9 shooting performance tonight, he is shooting 63 percent from the field over the last six games.
“I think he has grabbed ahold of this leadership role,” Konkol said of Hamilton. “He has taken a lot of responsibility. He has strung together many good practices. He is spending time before and after practice shooting. He is in a very good place mentally right now. He is very driven. He wants to have a great senior season and it is showing on the floor.”
Another steady area besides the performance of Hamilton was the defense. After allowing just 63 points at FGCU, the Bulldogs turned around with another solid effort on that side of the floor by holding Prairie View A&M (0-12) to 58 total points.
The Panthers pulled to within eight, 22-14, on a made jumper by Jayrn Johnson with 9:10 left in the first stanza, but the Bulldogs closed out the half on a 19-6 run to take a commanding 41-20 lead into halftime.
LA Tech shot 25-of-55 from the field (46 percent) and 7-of-18 from three-point range (39 percent) compared to PVAMU who shot a 21-64 clip from the field (33 percent) and 3-of-17 from beyond the arc (18 percent).
With the victory, it marks the seventh time in the last eight seasons that the Bulldogs have gone undefeated at home during non-conference play, finishing 8-0 this season.
LA Tech starts Conference USA action on Saturday, Jan. 2 when it battles Southern Miss at 6 p.m. in the TAC.
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