Bulldogs Continue Homestand, Take on Owls
Jan. 19, 2018
RUSTON – Louisiana Tech looks to continue protecting its home court on Saturday night when they take on Rice at 6 p.m. inside the Thomas Assembly Center on Karl Malone Court.
The live video stream can be seen with a paid subscription to CUSA.tv. Fans can listen to the Voice of the Bulldogs Dave Nitz and Jack Thigpen call the action on the LA Tech Sports Network on KXKZ 107.5 FM (Ruston), KJVC 92.7 FM (Mansfield) and KRMD 100.7 FM (Shreveport) as well as on the Louisiana Tech X mobile app.
After losing five straight games decided by four points or less, LA Tech (11-9, 2-5 C-USA) put an end to that streak by gutting out a 66-65 victory over North Texas this past Thursday which began a stretch of seven home contests out of the next nine.
They combined to play 73 of the 80 total minutes between the two while shooting 15-of-23 from the field and 7-of-11 from three-point range. That made up 15 out of 20 made field goals and seven out of eight triples for the whole team.
It was the largest combined scoring output of a freshman duo in the last 25 years for the program as well as the first time in 25 years that two freshman scored 20+ points in a single game.
Both players finished with career highs in scoring as Duruji recorded 25 points. He also tied his career high with seven rebounds and three blocks. Archibald netted 21 points and set career highs in rebounds (six) and blocks (two).
The young guys will be relied upon again on Saturday against Rice (4-15, 1-5 C-USA) who is struggling as of late. They have lost eight of their last nine games, including an 86-75 loss at Southern Miss on Thursday.
The Owls, under first-year head coach Scott Pera, are one of the youngest teams in the country. They returned just one starter from last year’s 23-win season which tied for the second most victories in a single season in program history.
Not only did their head coach leave to take the same position at VCU, but four of their starters transferred as well. First team All-Conference USA selections Marcus Evans and Egor Koulechov went to VCU and Florida, respectively. They both ranked in the top three in the league in scoring last season, averaging a combined 37 points per game.
Also transferring was Marquez Letcher-Ellis who went to Nevada and Marcus Jackson who went to UC Santa Barbara.
The lone leftover in the starting lineup was Connor Cashaw who is anchoring the team this year in scoring (16.2 points per game) and rebound (6.5 boards per game).
Rice is 1-7 on the road this season with the lone win coming in its first game away from home at Northwestern State. They have lost seven straight road games since.
LA Tech leads the all-time series over Rice, 14-6. The Bulldogs had won seven straight in the series before the Owls snapped that streak last season in Houston.
The Bulldogs are 5-3 at home all-time against the Owls and have won three straight in the TAC. Just like the Mean Green, the two teams will only face each other one time during the regular season after playing each other twice each of the last two seasons.
Twitter users can follow @LATechHoops for live in-game updates.
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