Bulldog Battle Set for 8 p.m. Thursday at Thomas Assembly Center


 

 

Jan. 13, 2010

RUSTON, La. -

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One of the hottest teams in the country returns home as Louisiana Tech (16-2, 4-0 WAC) hosts Fresno State (10-7, 3-0 WAC) on Thursday at 8 p.m.

The battle of Western Athletic Conference leaders will be broadcast on ESPN Regional, Cox Sports Television as well as online at ESPN360.com and LA Tech All-Access.

Louisiana Tech has won nine-straight games and is one of just four teams in the country with 16 or more wins. For the first time since 1985, the Bulldogs will play at the Thomas Assembly Center as a team receiving votes in the AP Top 25 poll.

"We try to treat every game like a big game in the way that we prepare," head coach Kerry Rupp said. "We have tremendous respect for our opponent and for the WAC. Our guys have some confidence and have done a good job of not only respecting our opponent but paying attention to the game plan. We not only have the will to win, but the will to prepare to win."

The LA Tech Bulldogs are coming off a 2-0 road trip with wins at Idaho and Boise State. Against the Broncos, senior Magnum Rolle led Tech with 18 points and 12 rebounds for his seventh double-double of the season. The win was their 22nd in their last 27 games played, dating back to last season.

Senior Kyle Gibson has scored double-digits in points in every game this season and ranks 13th in the NCAA in scoring average at 21.1.

Both Bulldog squads have taken the conference by surprise with each school being picked to finish fifth or lower in both preseason WAC polls. Fresno State's 3-0 start in conference play is the best under 4th-year head coach Steve Cleveland.

The Bulldogs are very athletic and boast two players projected as lottery picks in the 2011 NBA Draft. Sophomore Paul George is coming off a career-high tying 29 points in FSU's 80-70 win over San Jose State. He is averaging 17.9 points per game, but excelling in conference play with 23.7 points in WAC play. Freshman Greg Smith is the other projected pro who is averaging 11.4 points per game.

Along with the television coverage for the game, the contest can be heard live throughout the LA Tech Sports Network, including KXKZ 107.5 FM (Ruston), KBYO 92.7 FM (Monroe/Farmerville) and KLKL 95.7 FM (Shreveport). "The Voice of the Bulldogs" Dave Nitz will call the game as well as a 30-minute pregame and postgame show.

LA Tech fans can also access the game via the internet by subscribing to LA Tech All-Access (log onto www.latechsports.com) as the audio and video will be streamed live. Livestats are also available on the website.

Promotions: Tech students can officially sign up Thursday night to be a member of the First National Bank T Zone student section as two lucky students will be selected to win a $500 cash prize courtesy of Bulldogs Barks and Bytes as well as a 32-inch flat screen TV courtesy of Best Buy. The first 100 students will receive a free T-Zone t-shirt.

Bulldog Scoop: Join LA Tech Director of Basketball Operations Cody Fueger as he conducts a preview of Fresno State at 7:30 p.m. in the Waggoner Room in the Thomas Assembly Center. It is open to anyone and free to attend. Bulldog Scoop takes place 30 minutes before every home game.

For ticket information, log onto www.ticketmaster.com, www.latechsports.com or call the Tech Ticket Office at 318-257-3631.