Jan. 11, 2013
RUSTON - Two conference wins in Texas down, one more to go as Louisiana Tech plays for a three-game road sweep when they travel to UTSA for a 6 p.m. tipoff on Saturday night at the UTSA Convocation Center.
LA Tech (13-3, 4-0 WAC) rides in having already won at UT Arlington (55-52) and Texas State (84-67) to extend their current five-game winning streak. To remain atop the WAC standings, the Bulldogs will have to best UTSA (4-11, 0-5 WAC) who is on a five-game losing streak and still searching for their first WAC win as a new member of the conference.
These two schools first met in San Antonio on Feb. 20, 1982 in what was the Roadrunners first ever men's basketball season. They followed that up with a rematch the next season in Ruston with the `Dogs coming out victorious in both.
The only other time they squared off on the court was twice during the 2004-05 season with each squad winning their home game.
This season the two teams will play as WAC foes for only one year before they become rivals in Conference USA next season.
The Roadrunners got off to a fast start this year starting 3-1 with wins over Holy Cross, Old Dominion and USC Upstate. However, UTSA has since gone 1-10 with the lone win over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi bracketed by two five-game losing streaks.
A heartbreaking 71-67 loss to Utah State in their first conference game is the closest the Roadrunners have gotten to a WAC win, but they nearly pulled off a tremendous comeback in their last game versus UT Arlington.
Despite being down by as many as 19 points in the second half to the Mavericks, UTSA got to within five with 24 seconds remaining before UTA snuck away with a 75-67 road win.
Three starters (Larry Wilkins, Michale Hale III and Kannon Burrage) scored at least 15 points in the losing effort.
LA Tech will look to wear down the Roadrunners who have four players that average at least 29 minutes per game.
Despite the quick 48-hour turnaround from the Thursday night game in San Marcos, the Bulldogs should have fresh legs as 10 players played between 16 and 21 minutes.
While Raheem Appleby continues to lead the team in scoring at 15.4 per game, the points have come from up and down the Bulldog roster.
During the winning streak that began before Christmas break, 47 percent of the team's scoring has come from the non-starters.
The contest will be broadcast live on the LA Tech Sports Network, including KXKZ 107.5 FM (Ruston), KJVC 92.7 FM (Mansfield) and KVCL 92.1 FM (Winnfield) with the pregame show beginning at 5:30 p.m. The "Voice of the Bulldogs" Dave Nitz will call the play-by-play. Fans can also access live audio of the game via the Internet by subscribing to LA Tech All-Access at www.LATechSports.com.
Twitter users can also receive live in-game updates by following @LATechHoops.