LA Tech Remains Out West to Battle Idaho
Feb. 15, 2013
RUSTON - Louisiana Tech looks to keep their 14-game winning streak intact, and more importantly, remain undefeated in conference play when they battle Idaho on Saturday night at 9:05 p.m. CT at the Cowan Spectrum in Moscow, Idaho.
LA Tech (22-3, 13-0 WAC) is coming off their seventh straight road win which tied the program record and the Bulldogs are one of only three teams in the country with at least 11 road victories (including neutral sites).
Historically, the `Dogs have had a tough time coming away from Idaho (9-15, 5-9 WAC) with a win, having only won three out of the seven times with the last victory coming three years ago.
"I think they are very, very underrated," said head coach Michael White in reference to the Vandals. "I have tremendous respect for coach Verlin and his staff, and the job that they do. They execute as well as anybody in our league offensively and they play very, very hard. They will be very prepared for us."
Some of the Bulldog players have had their better games away from Ruston this season, including leading scorer Raheem Appleby who poured in his career-high 34 points at Georgia State and who is averaging 15.1 points per game on the road compared to 12.9 points per game in the Thomas Assembly Center.
As a team, statically, the Bulldogs rebound better on the road averaging 39.3 per game whereas at home they average 37.1. Just like the game against Seattle U, the battle of the boards will be a key factor in the matchup against the Vandals.
LA Tech struggled to rebound the basketball in their 72-66 win over the Vandals a month ago, ultimately getting outrebounded 42-29.
Idaho's first-team all-conference center Kyle Barone was at the center of that success, and the Bulldog defense will try to contain the WAC's leading rebounder (9.4 rpg) and who also averages 16.6 points per game.
The Vandals have struggled to win close conferences games this season with seven of their nine losses coming by seven points or less.
"It'll be hard to score on them versus their man and their zone, especially at their place," said White. "We will have to play better in certain areas because Idaho is a team that has lost some close ones. If they could've had a couple different bounces of the ball, they would be in the thick of things right now. They are a team that I know nobody wants to see in the conference tournament."
The Vandals primarily play just their starting five of Barone, Stephen Madison, Connor Hill, Mansa Habeeb and Mike McChristian who each played at least 34 minutes of action in their last game, a 71-68 loss to UT Arlington.
The contest will be broadcast live on the LA Tech Sports Network, including KXKZ 107.5 FM (Ruston), KJVC 92.7 FM (Mansfield) and KVCL 92.1 (Winnfield) with the pregame show beginning at 8:30 p.m. CT. The "Voice of the Bulldogs" Dave Nitz will call the 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.
For complete coverage of LA Tech Men's Basketball, please follow @LATechHoops on Twitter or visit the official home of Louisiana Tech Athletics at www.LATechSports.com.