RUSTON -- A career-high 33 points from senior Trey McDowell propelled the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (5-12; 3-2 WAC) over the New Mexico State Aggies (14-4; 4-1 WAC) 73-71 in overtime Wednesday night in the Thomas Assembly Center.
“I’m very proud of this team,” Tech head coach Keith Richard said. “This team just would not quit. I feel good for these players. We protected our home court. It’s been tough to squeak out wins, and this helps keep us alive for another day.”
McDowell connected on 14-of-26 shooting for the night and 4-of-10 from the three-point line for his 33 points and added six rebounds and six steals for the night.
“McDowell was special tonight,” Richard said. “This win shows what good guard play can do for you. He really took this team on his back and carried us down the stretch.”
After New Mexico State got to a 7-0 lead, senior Chad McKenzie connected on a free-throw after a made basket to cut the deficit to 7-3 with 16:12 to go in the first half for the Bulldogs’ first points of the night. The Aggies answered with a basket on the ensuing possession, which sophomore Drew Washington repaid the favor with a jumper with 15:35 on the clock for a score of 9-5.
Tech tied the game at 17-17 over four minutes later with a three pointer from McDowell, but the Aggies wasted no time getting a three of their own at the 11:26 mark for a 20-17 lead. The basket sparked a 7-0 run before Tech scored again for a score of 24-19.
Tech had followed with a 7-2 run of its own to cut its deficit to 26-25 with 8:13 in the first half. New Mexico State followed with a 12-0 run over the next six minutes and extended the lead to 38-25. The Aggies took a 40-28 lead into the halftime locker room.
The Bulldogs opened the second half with an 8-2 run that lasted over five minutes and trailed 42-36 with 15:00 to go in the game. Over the following seven minutes, the Bulldogs scrapped their way back up, and with 7:22 left in the game, senior Trey McDowell connect on a lay-up to pull the ‘Dawgs within three at 52-49. Washington pulled the Bulldogs within one point at the 5:53 mark with a fast-break lay-up.
A pair of three-pointers from McDowell down the stretch helped tie the game at 65 to send the game into overtime, and it was McDowell that hammered the nail into the coffin with 13 seconds on the clock that led to the 73-71 win that snapped the nation’s longest winning streak by New Mexico State.
McDowell’s 33 points led all scoring in the game, while Tyrone Nelson led the Aggies with 18.
The Bulldogs return to the road Saturday night against the Idaho Vandals beginning at 9 p.m. CST.