Conference Road Grind Continues at UTSA
Jan. 31, 2014
SAN ANTONIO, Texas - The conference road grind continues for Louisiana Tech as they stay in the state of Texas to take on UTSA at 3 p.m. at the Convocation Center.
The two teams will carry over a conference rivalry from the Western Athletic Conference last season to this season in Conference USA.
LA Tech (17-5, 5-2 C-USA) and UTSA (7-12, 3-3 C-USA) had two very memorable games last year - one good and one bad for the Bulldogs.
The first matchup saw the `Dogs squeak out a two-point victory in San Antonio on the back of Kenyon McNeail who tied a program record with nine three-pointers, one of which was the game-winner with 20 seconds left.
The Roadrunners got their revenge though in the conference tournament, upsetting the No. 1 seeded Bulldogs in the quarterfinals.
UTSA has already equaled its conference win total from last season and they have done so by holding serve at home. The Roadrunners are 3-0 at the Convocation Center and 0-3 away from it.
The most recent win came this past Thursday night in an 89-76 victory over Rice. Jordan Sims led the way with a season-high 21 points.
In conference games only, UTSA (74.8) and LA Tech (81.4) have the two highest scoring offenses. A lot of those points for UTSA are coming from behind the arc as they are shooting 39 percent from three in the past six games and from the charity stripe where the Roadrunners are getting to the charity stripe more than any other league team.
As LA Tech comes off an 89-79 loss at UTEP, guarding without fouling will be crucial for the Bulldogs to have success. Versus the Miners, the Bulldogs were called for 30 team fouls which sent UTEP to the free throw line for 45 attempts.
"It was a bad combination of not being able to turn them over as much and sending them to the free throw line way too much," said head coach Michael White. "It is uncharacteristic of us to do that and you can't do that on the road in a hostile environment.
"This is new territory for us because in our other losses we had more preparation time for our next opponent. It is not like we can really go back to work and get back to basics. Mentally, you would hope that our guys will be up for another road test and try to do everything in their power to stay in the conference race."
UTSA boasts four players that average in double-figures, led by junior Keon Lewis' 13.9 ppg. The forward has scored at least 10 points in 14 of the last 16 games played.
A tough player last season for the Roadrunners, forward Jeromie Hill, is redshirting this season after missing the first nine games with a knee injury. Along with the loss of key players Michale Hale III and Kannon Burrage to graduation, these are a couple of reasons why the Roadrunners have 10 total newcomers this season.
LA Tech counters on offense with Alex Hamilton who ranks third in conference play in scoring (17.6 ppg). Three other Bulldogs are also averaging double-figures in the seven league games thus far - Jaron Johnson (13.0), Chris Anderson (11.9) and Kenyon McNeail (10.1).
The matchup will be televised on Time Warner Texas with the talent being Humberto Cervera and Dan Hughes.
It can be heard live on the LA Tech Sports Network on KXKZ 107.5 FM and KJVC 92.7 FM. The pregame show will start at 2:30 p.m. CT with the "Voice of the Bulldogs" Dave Nitz doing play by play. Fans can also access live audio of the game via the Internet by subscribing to LA Tech All-Access at www.LATechSports.com.
Twitter users can also receive live in-game updates by following @LATechHoops.
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