Streaky Bulldogs Host Seattle on Saturday Night
Jan. 18, 2013
RUSTON - No one Bulldog player has been streaky all season, but the entire team certainly has been.
Louisiana Tech (15-3) is riding a seven-game winning streak, their second such streak this season, and hope to continue their homecourt dominance when they take on Seattle (6-10) on Saturday night at 7 p.m. inside the Thomas Assembly Center.
The Bulldogs also carry into this matchup an 11-game home winning streak and a perfect 6-0 record in the WAC that has them at the top of the conference standings.
All three successful stretches were in jeopardy this past Thursday in the TAC as Idaho maintained the lead throughout the entire first half and well into the second half.
The Bulldogs gained the upper hand, 58-56, after an 8-0 run was capped off with a running jumper by guard Brandon Gibson with 5:13 to go.
The lead would change hands in favor of the Vandals before guard Kenyon McNeail drained back-to-back three-pointers to give LA Tech their largest lead to that point, 64-61, with two minutes still remaining.
With just 37 seconds on the clock, guard Kenneth Smith came up huge on the defensive end with three steals to secure the win giving the Bulldogs an astounding 13-0 record this season when leading with 5 minutes left to play in the game.
"Our backcourt is very deep and a lot of times we are playing four guards," said head coach Michael White. "I just think we're skilled in terms of having four or five playmakers out on the floor at any given time. Our turnover margin continues to be really good, but what I'm most proud of late in games is our ability to really sit down in a stance and grind out stops."
Rebounding will be a point of emphasis versus the Redhawks as Seattle comes into the contest leading the WAC with 41.4 rpg.
Deshaun Sunderhaus is sixth in the league in rebounding with 7.1 boards per game while Clarence Trent is 12th with 6.0 per game. The two forwards also pace the team in scoring with 10.1 and 10.9 points, respectively.
"[Seattle] likes to play fast, are very talented and are very capable," said White. "They have had some really good showings, including a huge win at UT Arlington. It was just a matter of time before they broke through. We've got to expect a big effort. A team that comes off a road win at UTA has got to be playing with confidence."
The breakthrough 61-44 win over the Mavericks was Seattle's first in the Western Athletic Conference after opening up 0-5.
The only two times LA Tech and Seattle have met on the hardwood were at neutral sites in tournaments. The first meeting came on Nov. 27, 2008 as part of the Great Alaska Shootout in Anchorage, Alaska with the Redhawks coming out on top 61-46.
The second meeting came two years later in the regional round of the 2K Sports Classic benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer in Irvine, Calif. with the Bulldogs taking the 85-72 victory.
One area the Bulldogs hope to take advantage of is Seattle's seldom turnover woes as they average 19.1 per game while LA Tech forces a WAC-best 17.3 per game, including seven games where they have forced more than 20 by the opponent.
The contest will be broadcast live on the LA Tech Sports Network as well, including KXKZ 107.5 FM (Ruston), KJVC 92.7 FM (Mansfield) and KVCL 92.1 FM (Winnfield) with the pregame show beginning at 6:30 p.m. The "Voice of the Bulldogs" Dave Nitz will call the play-by-play and Jack Thigpen will provide analysis. Fans can also access live video and 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.