LA Tech Hosts UTSA on Saturday Night
Jan. 6, 2017
RUSTON – The Louisiana Tech men’s basketball team looks to extend its longest winning streak of the season on Saturday night when they play host to UTSA at 6 p.m. inside the Thomas Assembly Center on Karl Malone Court.
LA Tech (10-5, 2-0 C-USA) has won three straight games with each victory coming by at least 20 points, including two against league foes. Another win would get the Bulldogs to 3-0 to start conference play which would mark the fourth time in the last five years in getting off to such a start.
Defense has been the primary reason for the ‘Dogs recent success. Each of their last three opponents were held to 55 points or less which includes the previous game of defeating UTEP by a score of 64-44, the 44 points being a new season-low for the Miners.
It was also the fewest points allowed by a Bulldog team in almost two years. LA Tech currently boasts the second best defense in the league with allowing an average of only 62.9 points per game (ranks 24th nationally).
On offense, it is still redshirt senior Erik McCree filling up the stat sheets. He led the Bulldogs in scoring and rebounding with 19 points and 11 boards to mark his eighth double-double, all of which have come in the last 10 games.
Then there is his scoring partner Jacobi Boykins who knocked down four three-pointers versus UTEP, the sixth time the sharp shooter has done so this year.
McCree currently ranks seventh in C-USA in scoring (17.4 points per game) and second in rebounding (9.5 rebounds per game). Meanwhile, Boykins is 12th in scoring with an average of 14.9 points per contest and second in three-point field goals per game with an average of 3.1.
Under first-year head coach Steve Henson, UTSA (6-9, 1-1 C-USA) has already topped last year’s win total of five. Four of their six victories have come in the last month, including a three-game winning streak that was capped off by a 67-55 C-USA opening win versus UTEP.
The Roadrunners did suffer their first loss in league play though on Thursday night in a 77-59 loss at Southern Miss.
Forward Jeff Beverly leads UTSA with an average of 14.2 points per contest, having reached double figures 12 times. He also averages 5.9 boards for a team that ranks second in the conference and 32nd in the country in rebounds per game at 40.2.
LA Tech leads the all-time series over UTSA, 10-2, having won five straight while also being a perfect 5-0 at home versus the Roadrunners. The two teams first met on the hardwood in 1982 with the Bulldogs claiming a 63-57 victory in San Antonio. UTSA made the trek to Ruston the following season as part of a home-and-home where LA Tech was victorious again, this time by a score of 58-48.
After facing each other twice during non-conference in 2004, LA Tech and UTSA became league foes in the Western Athletic Conference in 2012-13. Both schools then joined Conference USA in 2013-14.
Fans can access live video via the Internet by subscribing to CUSA.tv. The game can also be heard live on the LA Tech Sports Network on KXKZ 107.5 FM (Ruston) and KJVC 92.7 FM (Mansfield) as well as on the LA Tech X Mobile app. The "Voice of the Bulldogs" Dave Nitz will call the play-by-play and Jack Thigpen will provide analysis.
Twitter users can receive live in-game updates by following @LATechHoops.
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