Nov. 17, 2012
RUSTON - With the host round games now over, the Louisiana Tech men's basketball team will now set their sights on playing three games in three days in the four-team, round robin sub host portion of the CBE Hall of Fame Classic held in Chattanooga, Tenn. at McKenzie Arena.
LA Tech (1-1) will open up on Sunday in the second game of the day versus Troy (1-1) at approximately 4:00 CT, followed by Southeast Missouri State (2-1) on Monday at 3:30 CT and finishing on Tuesday in the second game against the host school Chattanooga (1-1) on Tuesday at approximately 5:30 CT.
All three matchups will be broadcast live on the LA Tech Sports Network, including KXKZ 107.5 FM -Ruston, KJVC 92.7 FM - Mansfield and KTKC 92.9 - Springhill (Troy and SEMO games only) with the pregame show beginning 30 minutes prior to tipoff. Fans can also access the audio of the game via the Internet by subscribing to LA Tech All-Access at www.LATechSports.com. Fans can also receive in-game updates through Twitter by following @LATechHoops.
"Three games in three days is what we are striving for in March at the WAC Tournament, so this weekend should only help to prepare us if we are fortunate enough to advance," said head coach Michael White. "Also, the opportunity to compete with three very solid programs on consecutive nights is exciting. We'll know a lot more about ourselves after this event."
Playing in mid-season tournaments has become the norm for the Bulldogs in recent years, including last year when they traveled to Laramie, Wyo. to compete in the Jim Thorpe Classic where they came away with one win and two losses.
LA Tech enters Sunday's contest led by guards Cordarius Johnson and Raheem Appleby who are averaging 13.5 points per game apiece after two games. Leading the team in almost every other offensive category is point guard Kenneth Smith who is averaging 7.5 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 4.5 steals per game.
The Bulldogs and the Trojans will be meeting for the first time ever on the hardwood. Despite the two squads each having only played two games this season, they have a common opponent played in Texas A&M.
After the Aggies gave the Bulldogs their first loss in a 71-59 win, they knocked off the Trojans for their first loss by a score of 83-65. In that loss, Troy was led in scoring by guard Hunter Williams who drained five three-pointers. After two games, he leads the team averaging 12.5 points per game.
Prior to the loss, Troy played another SEC member in Mississippi State and took down the Bulldogs 56-53 in their season opener.
SOUTHEAST MISSOURI STATE
The Redhawks opened their season suffering a 19-point loss to No. 7 Kansas, but responded with their next two games at home to Lyon College and McNeese State.
SEMO is led by 6-foot-8 forward Tyler Stone who is shooting 54% from the field and averaging 17.0 points per game.
Another key player in their frontline is forward Nino Johnson who is averaging a double-double.
The winner of this matchup will gain a 3-2 lead in the series with it currently being even. The Redhawks came out on top, 59-54, the last time these two teams met in 2007.
Just like Southeast Missouri State, Chattanooga's lone loss came against the Kansas Jayhawks as part of the CBE Hall of Fame Classic. The Mocs opened their season prior to that game with a home win over Tennessee Temple 88-53.
Chattanooga has three players currently averaging double-digit points in Farad Cobb, Drazen Zlovaric and Z. Mason.
The Mocs have won both games over the Bulldogs with the last one being a 66-64 victory in 1977 in the New Orleans Classic.