LA Tech Faces ETSU in Night Cap of Vegas16
March 27, 2016
LAS VEGAS – It will be 18 days since Louisiana Tech suited up for a basketball game.
That 18th day will culminate in a quarterfinal matchup on Monday night at 10:30 p.m. CT versus ETSU in the inaugural Vegas 16 Tournament at the Mandalay Bay Events Center.
This will mark the fourth straight season LA Tech (23-9) will take part in postseason action and it is an opportunity to amend for a quarterfinal loss in the Conference USA Tournament almost three weeks ago.
“Our focus has been on trying to improve every day and be in a process mindset,” head coach Eric Konkol said. “Once the season was coming to a conclusion, you start to prepare for any type of postseason opportunity. We were aware of the Vegas16 and we are very happy to be taking part in it.”
C-USA Player of the Year Alex Hamilton is familiar with playing out west, Las Vegas in particular. The guard was a freshman back in 2012-13 when the ‘Dogs were in there final season in the Western Athletic Conference and spent much of their time in the Mountain and Pacific Time zones.
He even took part in one of the three trips to the City of Lights that LA Tech has been a part of, a place that hosted in the WAC Tournament.
The senior has garnered numerous postseason awards this season and has skyrocketed up several lists for program records. He has a chance to add to his legacy as he will lead the Bulldogs into the single elimination tourney which will be nationally televised on the CBS Sports Network with Dave Ryan and Jordan Cornette calling the action.
The ‘Dogs will try to find their offensive rhythm, something they had late in the regular season but ran into some struggles in the league tournament by being held to a season-low 52 points versus Old Dominion who they could meet in the championship game.
They will need to put up some points as ETSU (23-11) can score in bunches, considering they are one of the best three-point shooting teams in the country ranking 42nd with a 37.7 percent clip from beyond the arc.
“They can really score,” Konkol said. They have a lot of talent and they have improved their defensive numbers as the season has progressed. They have a lot of offensive scoring power so we are going to have to really defend, try to limit their three-point shots, because they can really shoot it from deep.”
The Buccaneers finished second in the Southern Conference and came one game away from reaching the NCAA Tournament but fell to Chattanooga in the tournament finals. Prior to that loss, they had won seven straight.
Leading the way for the Bucs is Ge’Lawn Guyn who shoots 41.8 percent from three while averaging a team-high 18.2 points per game.
This will be only the third meeting ever between LA Tech and ETSU. Both meetings came during the 1970’s in the Pacemaker Classic held in Monroe.
The first meeting came in 1973 with the Bucs coming out on top by a score of 82-70. The second meeting came exactly three years later, this time with the ‘Dogs winning 78-72.
Fans can access live audio of the game via the Internet by subscribing to LA Tech All-Access at LATechSports.com. The game can be heard live on the LA Tech Sports Network on KXKZ 107.5 FM (Ruston) and KRMD 1340 AM (Shreveport). The "Voice of the Bulldogs" Dave Nitz will call the play-by-play and Jack Thigpen will provide analysis.
Twitter users can also receive live in-game updates by following @LATechHoops.
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