Bulldogs Battle Mean Green on Legends Day
Jan. 20, 2017
RUSTON – Game No. 20 of the regular season for Louisiana Tech takes place on Saturday night inside the Thomas Assembly Center on Karl Malone Court as the Bulldogs look to extend their three-game winning streak when they take on North Texas at 6 p.m.
Coming off two solid defensive efforts that turned into two road wins, LA Tech (13-6, 5-1 C-USA) brought that defense back to Ruston on Thursday which helped stifle Rice.
The Owls came in with the 19th highest scoring offense in the country with an average of 84 points per game. The Bulldogs ended up holding them to 20 below that average, forcing 23 turnovers which they turned into 33 points to help come away with a 74-64 victory.
LA Tech finished with seven blocks, led by Joniah White who had four to bring his season total to 48. Despite only averaging 17.4 minutes per game, the 7-foot center ranks 16th in the country in total blocks.
The team also produced double-digit steals with 10, getting four apiece from Erik McCree and Derric Jean which were both career highs. Jacobi Boykins also swiped one, bringing his season total to 42 which ranks 17th in the nation.
The Bulldogs currently rank first in Conference USA in field goal percentage defense, blocks per game and steals per game as well as second in scoring defense.
The offense continues to come from McCree who poured in a game-high 19 points versus the Owls to up his scoring average to 17.3 per contest. He continues to anchor the team in rebounding as well, averaging 8.5 per game.
While LA Tech has won six of its last seven, North Texas (6-12, 0-6 C-USA) enters Saturday having lost seven straight games, including a recent 75-65 setback coming at Southern Miss.
Six of those losses have come in conference play, making the Mean Green one of only two squads yet to post a league victory a third of the way into the C-USA schedule.
Despite the losses, North Texas has been very competitive in a handful of those games, falling by seven at Old Dominion and dropping a heartbreaking two-point loss to UAB.
They are anchored by junior forward Jeremy Combs who was a second team All-Conference USA selection last season. This year, he is averaging a team-best 10.2 points and 6.4 rebounds per game.
LA Tech has the upperhand in the series, leading 20-9. The ‘Dogs have been dominant at home, posting a 12-1 record while winning the last 12. Last year’s win in Ruston came in overtime with the Bulldogs coming away with a 73-62 victory.
The home game will be more special with it being Legends Day, an event where every former Bulldog player, coach and support staff member is invited to attend. Members of the 1966-67 squad – the first in program history to participate in the NCAA Tournament – will be recognized as part of the 50th anniversary.
Fans can access live video via the Internet by subscribing to CUSA.tv. The game can also be heard live on the LA Tech Sports Network on KXKZ 107.5 FM (Ruston) and KJVC 92.7 FM (Mansfield) as well as on the LA Tech X Mobile app. The "Voice of the Bulldogs" Dave Nitz will call the play-by-play and Jack Thigpen will provide analysis.
Twitter users can receive live in-game updates by following @LATechHoops.
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