Bulldogs Begin Four-Game Homestand Thursday Night Against North Dakota


 

 

Feb. 15, 2012

GameDay Central

RUSTON, La. - After three straight Western Athletic Conference games to begin the month, Louisiana Tech hosts North Dakota in out-of-conference action Thursday night at 8 p.m. in the Thomas Assembly Center. The contest will also be the first of four consecutive home games for the Bulldogs.

The all-time series is tied 1-1 with the Fighting Sioux coming away with a 76-73 victory last season in Grand Forks, N.D. In that game, sophomore guard Kenyon McNeail scored a career-high 27 points including a career-best seven three-pointers.

This will be the first meeting between the two programs in Ruston as Tech won the first meeting in the series 86-77 in Bloomington, Ill. during the 1967 NCAA Small College Tournament.

The Bulldogs are 11-14 overall and 3-7 in conference play after falling to Idaho Saturday night.

Sophomore guard Cordarius Johnson led LA Tech with 21 points and seven rebounds against the Vandals. His performance increased his points and rebounding per game averages to 10.6 and 4.2, respectively.

Pacing the Bulldogs in points is freshman guard Raheem Appleby at 13.7 points per contest after being held scoreless against the Vandals. The last time he did not score in a game was on Nov. 30 at Southeastern Louisiana when he only saw three minutes on the court.

Also averaging double-figures in scoring is senior guard Trevor Gaskins with 10.3 points per contest.

Junior guard Brandon Gibson leads the Bulldogs with 4.3 rebounds per game while fellow classmate forward J.L. Lewis has pulled down 4.0 rebounds per contest.


 

 

Freshman guard Kenneth Smith is averaging 3.8 assists and 3.5 rebounds per game which is the most by a freshman in the WAC in both categories.

LA Tech is scoring 68.2 points per game on 40.7 percent shooting from the field and 31.7 percent from three-point range. They are making 7.7 three-pointers per game, placing them second in the WAC and 52nd in the nation.

The Bulldogs have already set a school record for most three-point attempts in a season with 609, breaking the previous mark of 598 set in the 2009-10 season. With 10 more made three-pointers, Tech will set a new program record, surpassing the 202 made by the 2009-10 team.

LA Tech is getting 6.7 steals per contest and has a plus 1.52 turnover margin that is second in the conference and 93rd in the country.

North Dakota enters Thursday's game with an overall mark of 11-13 and are 3-4 in the Great West Conference.

The Fighting Sioux are 1-12 in road contests with their lone victory coming at NJIT on Saturday in conference play. They have also lost to Bradley, Kansas, New Mexico, South Dakota State and Western Illinois on the road.

Troy Huff leads UND with 13.6 points per game and 6.0 rebounds per contest. Aaron Anderson (10.6 ppg) and Patrick Mitchell (10.4 ppg) are averaging in double-figures as well.

Jamal Webb and Anderson are dishing out 3.5 and 3.2 assists per game, respectively.

The Fighting Sioux score 67.6 points per contest on 43.8 percent shooting including 33.4 percent from beyond the arc. They make 64.0 percent of their free throw attempts and grab 34.5 rebounds per game.

Defensively, UND surrenders 69.0 points a game and they allow opponents to shot 43.0 percent on field goal attempts and 36.8 percent on three-pointers.

Dave Nitz, "The Voice of the Bulldogs," and Jack Thigpen will be calling the game on KXKZ 107.5 FM and KJVC 92.7 FM that begins with the pregame show at approximately 7:45 p.m. LA Tech All-Access subscribers can watch a live video stream of the action through LATechSports.com, the official home of Louisiana Tech Athletics.

Live stats will be available through the men's basketball GameDay Central page which can be viewed through the link at the top of the page. Twitter users can follow sports information director Phillip Pongratz for updates as well at www.twitter.com/LATechPPongratz.