LA Tech Heads to Houston to Take on Rice
Feb. 24, 2017
HOUSTON – Louisiana Tech looks to pull off a conference road sweep for the third time this season when they travel to Houston to take on the Rice Owls on Saturday night at 7 p.m. inside Tudor Fieldhouse.
LA Tech (21-8, 13-3 C-USA) is riding a seven-game winning streak, the longest since the 2013-14 season. They are also one win away from going undefeated in the month of February for the first time since 2013.
The Bulldogs were able to keep the winning streak alive by breaking the Super Pit curse on Thursday. Having lost each of the last two seasons in the arena against North Texas, a second half explosion propelled the team to their sixth league road win and a first round bye in the C-USA Tournament presented by MetroPCS.
With the game tied at intermission, LA Tech scored 53 second half points to pull away from the Mean Green. That offense was almost a direct result of the defense which forced 19 turnovers, produced a season-high 12 steals and added in eight rejections.
In the last three games, the Bulldogs have cranked it up defensively. During that stretch, they have forced an average of 17.7 turnovers per game.
Leading the way on the perimeter has been Jacobi Boykins who ranks first the league and 21st in the country with 2.1 steals per game. In the paint, it has been Joniah White who ranks second in the league and 25th in the nation with 2.4 blocks per contest.
Both had stellar games against North Texas. Boykins led the team in scoring with 22 points and was a pest at the top of the 1-3-1 zone. Meanwhile, White played only 20 minutes of action off the bench but still registered a game-high eight rebounds and a career-high seven rejections.
It was defense that helped LA Tech beat Rice (19-9, 9-6 C-USA) a little over a month ago, forcing 23 turnovers which turned into 33 points and holding them to just 64 total points.
Right now, the Owls are fighting for a spot in the top four and a first round bye. They are currently alone in fifth place in the league standings after defeating Southern Miss in overtime on Thursday.
Rice has the second highest scoring offense in the conference, averaging 81.4 points per game. Much of their damage continues to be done from behind the arc where they shoot a league-best 39 percent while making nine a game.
They are led by the triple scoring threat of Egor Koulechov, Marcus Evans and Marcus Jackson who combine to score 50 points per contest. Evans and Koulechov currently rank No. 4 and No. 5 in the league in scoring, averaging 19.1 and 18.7 points per game, respectively.
LA Tech has won all seven meetings versus Rice since the two teams became league foes again in C-USA.
Fans can access live video via the Internet by subscribing to CUSA.tv. The game can also be heard live on the LA Tech Sports Network on KXKZ 107.5 FM (Ruston) and KJVC 92.7 FM (Mansfield) as well as on the LA Tech X Mobile app. The "Voice of the Bulldogs" Dave Nitz will call the play-by-play.
Twitter users can receive live in-game updates by following @LATechHoops.
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