Feb. 17, 2012
RUSTON, La. - Louisiana Tech finishes up the non-conference portion of their schedule against Central Arkansas on Saturday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. in the Thomas Assembly Center as part of SEARS ESPN BracketBuster program.
Free BracketBuster megaphones will be given away to the first 300 fans at the TAC with doors opening at 2 p.m.
The Bears lead the series 1-0 with the only prior meeting occurring three games into the 1941-42 season for LA Tech as UCA came away with a 34-29 victory.
With the 58-53 win over North Dakota Thursday night, the Bulldogs are 12-14 overall and extended their program record non-conference home winning streak to 25 games.
Freshman Raheem Appleby scored 19 points against the Fighting Sioux to increase his team-best average to 13.9 points per game. Senior Trevor Gaskins and sophomore Cordarius Johnson are adding 10.3 points per contest apiece.
Leading the team in rebounding is junior guard Brandon Gibson at 4.2 boards per game while Johnson is right behind him with 4.1 rebounds per contest.
With four assists against the Fighting Sioux, freshman Kenneth Smith now has 100 assists on the year. He is the first Tech freshman to reach the century mark in assists since Lonnie Cooper in the 1995-96 season.
The Bulldogs are scoring 67.8 points per game while making 40.7 percent of their shots including 31.6 percent of their three-point attempts.
Tech ranks 56th in the nation with 7.7 made three-pointers per game and need only four more makes this season to break the program record of 202 set in the 2009-10 season.
Central Arkansas enters Saturday with a 7-17 record and is 2-10 in the Southland Conference including a loss at Sam Houston State Wednesday night that extended their winless streak to eight games.
They are coached by Corliss Williamson who was a two-time All-American at Arkansas and a member of the Detroit Pistons 2004 NBA championship team. Williamson is in his second season in charge of the program and has compiled a record of 12-41.
On the road, the Bears are 2-11 with their wins coming at Northwestern State in conference play and UT-Martin. Notable non-conference losses on the road have been to Arkansas State, Drake, Iowa, Stanford and UNLV.
LaQuentin Miles is the only player scoring in double-figures at 15.5 points per game while Jarvis Garner (9.6 ppg), Jordan Hanks (8.3 ppg) and Robert Crawford (8.1 ppg) are all averaging at least eight points per contest.
UCA has three players dishing out at least two assists per game with Mark Rutledge leading the way with 2.7 per game. Miles and Ryan Williams are averaging 2.3 and 2.1 assists per contest, respectively.
Defensively, Garner paces the squad in rebounding at 6.3 per game while Miles is second with 5.2 rebounds per contest.
The Bears are averaging 72.4 points per game while making 42.4 percent of their shots including 31.2 percent from three-point range. They have struggled at the free throw line as they are making 56.8 percent of their attempts.
Their opponents are shooting 49.7 percent from the field including 36.3 percent on three-point attempts and are scoring 83.5 points per contest. Opposing teams are forcing UCA to turn the ball over 15.6 times a game with 8.4 of the turnovers being steals.
Dave Nitz, "The Voice of the Bulldogs," and Jack Thigpen will be calling the action beginning with a pregame show at 3 p.m. on KXKZ 107.5 FM and KJVC 92.7 FM. LA Tech All-Access subscribers can watch a live video stream of the contest on 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 of the game at www.twitter.com/LATechPPongratz.