Bulldogs Ready for a Second Texas Road Swing

Jan. 21, 2015

GameDay Central | Game Notes

RUSTON - Louisiana Tech hopes to duplicate its last league road trip to the Lone Star State when they travel to Denton to take on North Texas on Thursday night at 7 p.m. inside the Super Pit.

The last Texas road swing resulted in victories over UTEP and UTSA for LA Tech (14-4, 5-0 C-USA) which marked the first weekend sweep in a road series in Conference USA.

The Last Meeting
North Texas75
Louisiana Tech90
February 8, 2014
Thomas Assembly Center (Ruston, La.)
LA Tech Pulls Away from North Texas for 20th Win of the Season
Kenneth Smith has always been a pass first, pass second, pass third and then shoot fourth kind of a point guard. Tonight he did both as the junior netted 17 points to go along with 10 assists for his third career double-double in leading Louisiana Tech to its 20th win of the season, a 90-75 decision over North Texas, in front of 5,123 in the Thomas Assembly Center on Saturday night.

The Bulldogs are currently tied atop the league standings with an undefeated mark. Going back even further to last season, they have won nine straight league games with six of those coming away from home.

"Being on the road is very difficult," head coach Michael White said. "We are playing two Conference USA teams on their home floor. They are going to be very difficult challenges for us. If we play really well in both of them, we will have a chance. It will just come down to how we execute a game plan, how hungry we are and how much edge we are playing with."

LA Tech continues to lead C-USA in scoring offense, averaging 75.6 points per game, and it is on the road where they have turned it up a notch. The top five scoring outputs this season have all come on the road (80+ points).

The Bulldogs have not cracked 80 points at home all year, but they have still managed to remain perfect at the TAC thanks to a 75-68 victory over Middle Tennessee in their last contest.

Alex Hamilton tied his season-high with 30 points, which included a program record and NCAA-best 20 made free throws on 23 attempts. As a result, the junior guard was named C-USA Player of the Week and LSWA Player of the Week.


 

 

The other two backcourt stars, Raheem Appleby, and Kenneth Smith, shined as well. Appleby recorded 18 points while Speedy dished out 10 assists.

"They are talented players," White said about his trio of all-conference guards. "They are now very experienced and talented players. They understood that for us to be successful they need to be on their game night in and night out. They need to be as consistent as anyone in our league. Our all-league players are playing like all-league players, which gives us a chance."

The 20 made free throws was not the only school record set this past Saturday. The defense also set a new program record of its own with 13 total blocks.

North Texas (7-10, 1-4 C-USA) enters Thursday's contest with one league win under its belt, but the Mean Green have a dangerous defense of its own. NT is holding its opponents to 39.7 percent shooting from the field, the second best mark in the conference.

On offense, they are led by Jordan Williams who averages 15.4 points per game. Williams is coming off a season-high 23-point performance in a 61-50 loss at Old Dominion.

"North Texas plays very hard," White said. "They are one of the better defensive teams in our league. They really get after it. They are very dangerous offensively as well, with one of the more underappreciated offensive players in the league with Jordan Williams."

LA Tech has won nine straight over North Texas and 14 of the last 15, including last year's 90-75 victory in Ruston. Speedy netted 17 points in that game to along with 10 assists which marked his third career double-double.

Fans can access live audio of the game via the internet by subscribing to LA Tech All-Access at LATechSports.com. The contest can be heard live on the LA Tech Sports Network on KXKZ 107.5 FM (Ruston) and KJVC 92.7 FM (Mansfield). The "Voice of the Bulldogs" Dave Nitz will call the play-by-play while Jack Thigpen provides analysis.

Twitter users can receive live in-game updates by following @LATechHoops.

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