LA Tech Hosts League-Leader UAB in Red Out Game
Feb. 12, 2016
RUSTON – There will be a sea of red inside the Thomas Assembly Center on Saturday as Louisiana Tech plays host to league-leader UAB in a 1 p.m. tipoff.
The annual “Red Out” game will be nationally televised on the FOX Sports Network with Pete Pranica and Mike Jarvis calling the action.
It will be a rematch of last year’s C-USA Tournament semifinal game in which LA Tech (18-6, 7-4 C-USA), after trailing by as much as 16 in the second half, mounted a furious rally to force overtime but came up short to the host-Blazers.
“Some games you might have a little bit more excitement for just out of human nature, but you have to make sure that you are just making the simple plays,” head coach Eric Konkol said. “It is not about trying to do anything spectacular. It is just about playing our game, playing hard and playing with great energy and for each other. That is our goal every time out and that is what we want to work on to get prepared for Saturday.”
LA Tech (18-6, 7-4 C-USA) remained in a tie for fourth place in the league standings after a 73-63 win over Middle Tennessee this past Thursday.
The Blue Raiders came in with only two conference losses, but the Bulldogs came up big on defense by holding them to 39.7 percent shooting and forcing 14 turnovers.
On offense, the starting five all scored in double figures which marked the third straight home game they have done so. Expand further and the lineup of Merrill Holden, Erik McCree, Dayon Griffin, Jacobi Boykins and Alex Hamilton are all averaging at least nine points per game during the seven-game stretch of starting the game together.
The Bulldogs improved to 13-1 this season in the TAC, a place that has plenty of magic when it comes to the home team winning.
LA Tech hopes to continue the magic and stay in the hunt for a top-four seed in the league tournament going up against UAB (21-4, 11-1 C-USA) who has been on a winning frenzy, claiming victories in 18 of the last 19 games. The Blazers got a scare in their last game, but pulled out an 80-77 double overtime victory at Southern Miss.
“UAB has a very good inside-outside combination,” Konkol said. “They have great size that can score. They have good guard play. They are able to get in transition. And they have been a good defensive team. They have had a great season and are playing with a lot of confidence.”
UAB ranks near the top of several statistical categories in C-USA, filling the No. 1 spot in field goal percentage (48.4), blocks per game (6.56), assists per game (19.0) and assist/turnover ratio (1.48). They are led in scoring by Chris Cokley and Robert Brown who average 13.8 and 13.0 points per game, respectively.
UAB leads the all-time series, 6-2. The two teams faced off twice in the regular season last year as well with LA Tech winning one – 74-71 in what has been the only game played in Ruston in the series that dates back to 1988.
There will also be a diaper derby at halftime to help benefit the March of Dimes. Participants ages two and under can participate in either the crawlers or toddlers division. There is no registration fee, but a donation is encouraged. A table will be set up for registration inside the main entrance of the TAC prior to the game.
Fans can access live audio of the game via the Internet by subscribing to LA Tech All-Access at LATechSports.com. The game can be heard live on the LA Tech Sports Network on KXKZ 107.5 FM (Ruston), KRMD 1340 AM (Shreveport) and KJVC 92.7 FM (Mansfield). The "Voice of the Bulldogs" Dave Nitz will call the play-by-play and Jack Thigpen will provide analysis.
Twitter users can also receive live in-game updates by following @LATechHoops.
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