@LATechHoops Returns Home to Face NC Central
Nov. 26, 2015
RUSTON – After playing on the road the past two games, Louisiana Tech returns home on Friday night to take on North Carolina Central at 6:30 p.m. inside the Thomas Assembly Center.
LA Tech (4-0) hopes to carry its momentum from this past Tuesday’s upset win at Ohio State which helped match the program’s best start to the regular season since 1998.
“Our team can gain a lot of confidence from the performance against Ohio State,” head coach Eric Konkol said. “However, the most important thing for us now is to have quality preparation and stay committed to the process of improving.”
The Bulldogs went into Columbus with a lot of confidence and came out with an 82-74 win, the program’s first victory over a Big Ten school since 1985.
LA Tech never trailed, but OSU managed to tie the game on three occasions, including at 55-55, but on all three occasions the ‘Dogs answered with a three-pointer to regain the lead.
The trio of Jacobi Boykins, Alex Hamilton and Erik McCree combined to score 39 of the team’s 40 points in the second stanza. Those three Bulldogs are the top scorers so far with McCree averaging 16.8, Hamilton averaging 16.5 and Boykins averaging 13.0 points per game.
“All three provide different skills and abilities that work well together,” Konkol said. “They have each contributed in multiple categories and have played with great chemistry with their teammates. We are looking forward to seeing that chemistry develop more as the season progresses.”
Bulldog fans may not know a lot about the next opponent, North Carolina Central (1-3), whom the team has never played on the hardwood, but they have a couple of things in common. Both teams have two of the top four longest home winning streaks in the country going and both teams have won back-to-back conference regular season titles.
Two seasons ago, NCCU finished with 28 wins and earned its first ever trip to the NCAA Tournament. Last season, the Eagles earned its first ever appearance in the NIT and faced coach Konkol and the Miami Hurricanes.
“NC Central is a program with a championship culture,” Konkol said. “They have won their regular season conference championship the last two years and went to the NCAA Tournament in 2014. Our fans can expect an extremely well coached team that plays very hard.”
The two-time defending regular season champion was picked to win it again in 2015-16 in the league’s preseason poll, but has gotten off to a slow start in non-conference with just one victory which came at home to Allen University.
Senior guard Dante Holmes, their lone returning starter from a year ago who missed the first two games this season, leads the team in scoring with an average of 18.0 points per game. Jeremiah In¬gram is the only other Eagle who currently averages double-figure points (10.3).
Fans can access live video and audio of the game via the Internet by subscribing to LA Tech All-Access at LATechSports.com. The contest 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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