LA Tech Battles North Texas in First Round of C-USA Tournament
March 6, 2018
FRISCO, Texas – Louisiana Tech won two tournaments during the regular season – Cancun Challenge and New Orleans Shootout.
The Bulldogs will now attempt to win a third as they take on the North Texas Mean Green in the first round of the 2018 C-USA Basketball Championships on Wednesday night at 8:30 p.m. at The Star.
The matchup will be streamed exclusively by Stadium on Facebook with Ron Thulin, Tim Scarborough and Madi Morris calling the action. It is free to all users with a direct link available on the schedule page at LATechSports.com. Fans do not have to have a Facebook account to access the stream.
Fans can also listen to the Voice of the Bulldogs Dave Nitz and Jack Thigpen call the game on the LA Tech Sports Network on KXKZ 107.5 FM (Ruston) and KRMD 100.7 FM (Shreveport) as well as on the Louisiana Tech X mobile app.
No. 10 seed LA Tech (16-15) is hoping to catch fire in the tourney, coming into the first round trying to snap a four-game losing streak. The ‘Dogs were close to breaking that streak in their regular season finale against the Golden Eagles, but ended up falling 72-64 in Hattiesburg.
It was a near comeback for the ages, down 24 points with just 14 minutes left to play in the game. The freshman point guard Amorie Archibald then led the comeback, pulling the team to within two on two separate occasions before running out of gas.
Archibald had a career-tying 21 points and seven rebounds in the loss. The other Bulldog in double figures was senior guard Jacobi Boykins who registered 14, including three three-pointers to up his season total to a program record 93.
Boykins, the team’s leading scorer (14.6 points per game) and rebounder (5.0 boards per game), was named Third Team All-Conference USA for the second consecutive year.
Another Bulldog garnering postseason honors was freshman forward Anthony Duruji who was one of five players named to the All-Freshman Team. He is averaging 7.3 points and 4.0 rebounds and leads all freshmen in C-USA in total blocks with 42.
A year after not qualifying for the league tournament with just a 2-16 conference mark, first-year head coach Grant McCasland has No. 7 seed North Texas (15-16) into the postseason with eight conference victories.
The Mean Green have struggled as well down the stretch. They have only one win in their last seven games with one of those losses being a 68-66 loss to UTEP at home in their regular season finale.
Much of the Mean Green’s success can be attributed to junior college transfer and Second Team All-Conference selection Roosevelt Smart. The sophomore guard leads the team in scoring with an average of 18.8 points per game. He lets it rip from deep, ranking in the top 10 in the country in three-point field goal attempts (281), three-pointers made (109) and three-point field goals made per game (3.52).
Also helping North Texas has been the other sophomore guard Ryan Woolridge who averages 13.1 points per game and a team-best 5.5 assists per game.
LA Tech has the upper-hand in the series, 23-9, including a 66-65 victory over North Texas earlier this season in Ruston. The two squads have met twice in postseason play before in back-to-back years in 1983 and 1984.
The Bulldogs are 4-4 all-time in the C-USA Tournament, advancing to the finals in their first year in the league (2013-14) and to the semifinals in its second and fourth year (2014-15, 2016-17).
Twitter users can follow @LATechHoops for live in-game updates.
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