Updated Jan 31, 2007 21:54:16
No. 15 Nevada Edges by Tech
RUSTON, La. -- The Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (6-15; 4-5 WAC) were beaten by the No. 15 nationally ranked Nevada Wolf Pack (20-2; 8-1 WAC) 79-71 Wednesday night in the Thomas Assembly Center in front of 3,754 fans.
“I told our team my two quick thoughts after the game tonight,” Tech head coach Keith Richard said. “One was we had a goal not to let Nevada get away from us (scoring wise). We accomplished that. But the second thing was that we couldn’t get the big stops we needed on defense. We didn’t have an answer. That’s why they are 20-2.”
Junior Marcelus Kemp put the Wolf Pack on the board first with a jumper in the lane at the 18:45 mark, which sparked a 6-0 run before senior Chad McKenzie connected on a pair of free throws with 16:10 on the clock to cut the lead to 6-2.
After getting down 19-9, the Bulldogs used stingy defense and free throws to climb back, and senior Trey McDowell connected on a three-pointer with 6:45 left in the first half to give Tech its first lead in the game 23-21. Nevada would outscore the Bulldogs 11-7 for the remainder of the half, however, and took a 31-27 lead into the locker room. McDowell finished with 10 first half points for the Bulldogs.
Nevada started the second half much like the first with a 6-0 run, before senior Jerome Richardson connected on a pair of free throws to cut to the lead to 37-29 with 17:12 left in the game.
Another McDowell three later in the half sparked a 6-0 Bulldog run that pulled Tech back within three points at 47-44 with 11:41 left in the ballgame, but the Wolf Pack answered with a 6-0 run of their own to take a 53-46 lead. Both teams traded baskets for almost the remainder of the half, but it would be the Wolf Pack who would find enough offense and come away with the win.
“The thing Nevada does so well is they have good play-makers,” Richard said. “If you make a defense mistake, they find the right guy and capitalize on it. It makes it difficult to get over the hump since they make such big plays. You can’t make mistakes against this team.”
McDowell led the Bulldogs with 14 points, while McKenzie and senior Marcus Elliot both finished with 11. Richardson along with senior Terry Parker chipped in 10 points apiece.
The Bulldogs will remain at home Saturday, Feb. 3, for a match-up with the Boise State Broncos. Tip off is set for 7 p.m.