Bulldogs Face Roadrunners in San Antonio
Feb. 23, 2018
RUSTON – Louisiana Tech will try to put the agony of another close loss behind them as they make the trek to San Antonio to face off against UTSA on Saturday night at 7 p.m. inside the UTSA Convocation Center.
The matchup can be seen in the San Antonio area on KCWX-TV. Mike Lefko and Chuck Miketinac will call the action. Fans can also listen to the Voice of the Bulldogs Dave Nitz call the game on the LA Tech Sports Network on KXKZ 107.5 FM (Ruston), KJVC 92.7 FM (Mansfield) and KRMD 100.7 FM (Shreveport) as well as on the Louisiana Tech X mobile app.
Despite the 74-72 loss to UTEP in El Paso on Thursday, LA Tech (16-13, 7-9 C-USA) remained alone in eighth place in the league standings with two road games left to go.
The Bulldogs were in prime position to get to a .500 conference record though against the Miners, up five with two minutes to go. Execution down the stretch was not what it needed to be and the home team finished the game on a 6-0 run, including a late tip-in, to take it.
Making outside shots was not the problem. For a program-record fifth straight game, the Bulldogs made double-digit three-pointers. Three of their 10 came from senior guard Jacobi Boykins who now has 87 for the season (ranks 23rd in the country), three shy of breaking his single season record.
Defense is what let the team down on Thursday. The Miners were able to shoot 53 percent from the field. In the ‘Dogs conference losses, they are allowing 76 points per game while in their conference wins they allow just 66 points per game.
The defensive side of the ball will definitely be of most important on Saturday against UTSA (16-12, 9-6 C-USA) who has been on a roll as of late, winning six of its last seven games which has them in fifth place in the league standings.
Most recently, the Roadrunners who their 10th home game by defeating the Southern Miss Golden Eagles by a final score of 64-56. They got off to an incredible 28-6 start and held on for the win, giving them 16 victories which is the most since 2011-12.
Much of their success can be attributed to their two freshman guards, Jhivvan Jackson and Keaton Wallace. Jackson, practically a shoe-in to win C-USA Freshman of the Year honors, is averaging 18.9 points per game while Wallace is averaging 11.3 points per contest. Jackson’s offensive output ranks fourth in the antion for all freshmen as the 6-foot guard has put up 528 total points.
Second-year head coach Steven Henson has UTSA scoring 79.6 points per game which ranks second in the conference. Much of their scoring comes from beyond the arc just like LA Tech’s, where they average 10.2 made threes per game, good for first in C-USA and 21st in the country.
And despite not playing a big lineup, the Roadrunners rebound the ball extremely well. They are fourth in the country in defensive rebounds at 29.29 per game and 11th in the country in rebounds per game at 40.57 per contest.
LA Tech leads the all-time series with UTSA, 11-4, which dates all the way back to 1982. The two teams played four times before becoming league foes in the Western Athletic Conference for the 2012-13 season.
Both squads then joined C-USA in 2013-14. Since then, the Bulldogs own a 6-2 edge while winning all four meetings in San Antonio. The Roadrunners have gotten the best of the ‘Dogs in Ruston though the past two times, including earlier this season by a score of 78-76 on a last second shot.
Twitter users can follow @LATechHoops for live in-game updates.
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