Battle of the `Dogs in Second Round of NIT
March 21, 2014
RUSTON -- It will be a battle of the Bulldogs on Saturday morning as Louisiana Tech heads to Athens for a second round NIT matchup with Georgia at 10 a.m. CT inside Stegeman Coliseum in a game being televised on ESPN.
Dave LaMont will call the play by play while Darrin Horn provides analysis.
The contest will be broadcast live on the LA Tech Sports Network on ESPN 97.7 FM with the pregame show beginning at 9:30 a.m. CT. The "Voice of the Bulldogs" Dave Nitz will have the call with Jack Thigpen as analyst. Fans can also access live audio of the game via the Internet by subscribing to LA Tech All-Access at www.LATechSports.com.
LA Tech (28-7) advanced in the National Invitation Tournament in thrilling fashion, beating Iona 89-88 at home on a game-winning putback layup by Kenneth Smith with 2.2 seconds left.
The back-and-forth game featured 14 lead changes and eight ties, with four lead changes coming in the final 69 seconds. The Bulldogs had six players in double figures led by Jaron Johnson's 15 points. Smith added 14.
The victory marked the first time in almost thirty years that Tech has recorded postseason wins in back-to-back seasons and it also eclipsed last year's season win total of 27.
The next opponent Georgia was in a dogfight as well, but closed the game on a 14-2 run to advance to the second round with a 63-56 win over Vermont. UGA was led by Charles Mann and Marcus Thornton who scored 29 and 16 points, respectively -- both career highs.
Prior to postseason, Georgia entered the SEC Tournament in Atlanta as the No. 3 seed. They took down Ole Miss in the quarters before dropping a 70-58 semifinal outcome to No. 2 seed Kentucky.
Going into conference play with a 6-6 mark, UGA was able to turn it around by going 12-6 in the SEC, only the 10th time in school history to register at least 10 conference wins.
Mann was named to the Coaches' All-SEC second team as he leads the team in points (13.9), assists (3.0) and steals (1.0) per game.
Louisiana Tech and Georgia have met only once on the hardwood back on Dec. 17, 1977. The Bulldogs of UGA came out on top in Athens, 42-34.
LA Tech held a slim 18-15 lead at halftime, but was limited to just six second half field goals. Randy Alexander led the way with eight points and six rebounds while playing the entire 40 minutes.
Despite being in the southeast region, it has become pretty rare for Louisiana Tech to play an SEC opponent.
In the last 10 years, LA Tech has only played seven times against the Southeastern Conference. The last win against an SEC school cioncidentally came in the NIT on March 15, 2002 when Tech defeated Vanderbilt, 83-68, in the first round in Ruston, La.
The last road win against the SEC came earlier that same season in a 67-66 win at Auburn. Since then, the `Dogs have lost 12 straight.
Twitter users can also receive live in-game updates by following @LATechHoops.
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