LA Tech Opens New Year at Home versus UTSA
Jan. 3, 2018
RUSTON -- Louisiana Tech looks to put an end to a two-game losing streak and a two-game home losing streak on Thursday night as they begin the new calendar year versus UTSA with tipoff set for 6:30 p.m. inside the Thomas Assembly Center on Karl Malone Court.
The matchup will be streamed live online by Stadium at WatchStadium.com. Ron Thulin and Tim Scarborough will call the action.
Fans can also listen to the Voice of the Bulldogs Dave Nitz and Jack Thigpen call the game on the LA Tech Sports Network on KXKZ 107.5 FM (Ruston), KJVC 92.7 FM (Mansfield) and KRMD 100.7 FM (Shreveport) as well as on the Louisiana Tech X mobile app.
LA Tech (9-6, 0-2 C-USA) gladly returns to the TAC, a place they have not played in since Dec. 12, to try to get back on track. The Bulldogs recently suffered defeats on the road at WKU and Marshall to open up Conference USA play.
There were two bad offensive stretches that ended up costing the `Dogs against the Herd in Huntington, West Virginia -- the final five minutes of the first half and the final 10 minutes of the second half.
LA Tech also committed a season-high 20 turnovers in the loss. The theme that has developed this season is that if the Bulldogs take care of the basketball they win.
In the nine games won, the team is only averaging 11.0 turnovers per game with a +2.9 turnover margin. In the six games lost, they are averaging 15.8 turnovers per game with a -2.0 turnover margin.
The Bulldogs ended up going with a different starting lineup against Marshall. Freshman Anthony Duruji got his first career start, recording two points and five boards, and junior Derric Jean made his first start of the season, scoring 14.
Jean is third on the team in scoring with an average of 9.6 points per contest. He has been extremely efficient shooting the basketball at 52 percent from the field, 52 percent from three-point range and 72 percent from the foul line.
UTSA (8-7, 1-1 C-USA) will be on the road for the first time in league play Thursday after opening up conference at home with a 79-66 win over Rice and a 72-71 loss to North Texas.
The Roadrunners' offensive numbers have been staggering this season under second-year head coach Steve Henson. They are currently averaging 85.5 points per game which ranks second in C-USA and 24th in the country.
They do much of their damage from beyond the arc as they have taken a league-high 434 three-pointers which is the 13th most in the nation. They make plenty as well, averaging 10.8 made threes per game which ranks first in the league and is top 20 in the country.
Almost half of those threes have been taken by their freshman guard duo of Jhivvan Jackson and Keaton Wallace who lead the team in scoring with an average of 17.2 and 14.3 points per game, respectively. They each have earned three C-USA Freshman of the Week honors this season.
UTSA snapped LA Tech's five-game winning streak in the series with a 69-68 win in Ruston last season. The Roadrunners became just the second team in Conference USA to win at the TAC since the Bulldogs joined the league in 2013-14.
LA Tech did get revenge though later that year in San Antonio by defeating the Roadrunners, 72-66. They now lead the all-time series, 11-3, which dates back to 1982.
Twitter users can follow @LATechHoops for live in-game updates.
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