LA Tech Looks to Carry Momentum to Saturday versus Marshall

Jan. 30, 2015

GameDay Central | Game Notes

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The Last Meeting
Marshall77
Louisiana Tech98
January 25, 2014
Thomas Assembly Center (Ruston, La.)
LA Tech Too Speedy for Marshall
On a night when Louisiana Tech was short-handed and two players required IVs, the Bulldogs still outraced Marshall behind Kenneth Smith's double-double which led to a 98-77 victory on Saturday night in front of a rowdy crowd of 7,355 fans in the Thomas Assembly Center.

RUSTON - Louisiana Tech moved into a tie for first place in the Conference USA standings with a huge win on Thursday.

Now the Bulldogs look to carry that momentum over into Saturday when the Thundering Herd of Marshall comes to town for a 4:30 p.m. tipoff inside the Thomas Assembly Center.

The contest will be televised live on the American Sports Network (ASN) with Lyn Rollins and Dean Keener calling the action.

In a battle of streaks, LA Tech (16-5, 7-1 C-USA) managed to keep its alive and extend its home winning streak to 23 games in the 69-56 victory over WKU who came in with a nine-game winning streak. The Bulldogs ended up with a plus-seven rebounding margin against the Hilltoppers, the largest margin in a single game this season.

The defensive-minded `Dogs copied that margin by having a plus-seven turnover margin, something that is the norm under head coach Michael White. They wound up forcing 16 which led to 22 points.

"We have to continue to harp on defense," coach White said. "We will continue to make it priority number one. We will try and be the best defensive team we can be and individually try and help our guys improve in certain areas, so as a group we can max out on that end of the floor."

Another oddity in the victory was that two Bulldogs, Erik McCree and Kenneth Smith, registered double-doubles. Prior to, the entire team only had one double-double all year compliments of Michale Kyser against Northwestern State.

Much like was the case two games ago against Rice, defending the three-pointer will be top priority for LA Tech.

As a team, Marshall (6-15, 2-6 C-USA) has by far the most three-point field goal attempts (552) of anyone in the league and is second in three's made with an average of 8.19 per game.

"I know when I am looking at conference stats, they are getting up a lot of threes that they are capable of making," White said. "They are playing fast and at a high tempo. Anyone that shoots and makes that many threes is dangerous.

"This is a really good league and we will continue to have an X on our back. It is a big opportunity for Marshall to come in here and knock us off and beat us at home. It is also a big opportunity for us to move forward and continue to improve and take care of our home floor."

Dan D'Antoni, a Marshall alum, is in his first season as head coach of the Thundering Herd who after a nine-game losing skid, including an 0-6 start in C-USA, have put together back-to-back wins.

The Herd upset UTEP at home and then followed that up with their first road win of the year with a 69-54 victory at Southern Miss.

MU is led offensively by redshirt sophomore Ryan Taylor who averages 14.9 points per game as well as 8.5 rebounds per game.

Saturday's contest will mark the fifth meeting between the two schools and the second consecutive year Marshall visits Ruston. LA Tech is a perfect 4-0 in the all-time series which includes last year's 98-77 win in front of 7,355 fans, the fourth largest crowd in TAC history.

Fans are reminded that tickets for the 2015 Conference USA basketball tournament which will be hosted by UAB in Birmingham (March 11-14) are on sale for $180 which includes tickets to every game (both men's and women's sessions). To purchase your tickets to the tournament or to any Louisiana Tech basketball home game, call the Tech Ticket Office at 318-257-3631, email techtickets@latech.edu or online HERE.

Live audio of the game is available 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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