LA Tech Faces Longtime In-State Foe Louisiana-Lafayette
Dec. 9, 2014
RUSTON - Last season Louisiana Tech was riding a 19-game home winning streak before suffering a loss to Louisiana-Lafayette.
The Bulldogs aim to even the score on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. when they travel south to face the longtime in-state foe Ragin' Cajuns in the Cajundome.
LA Tech (7-1) rides into Lafayette on a six-game winning streak and is in search of its best start to the season since 1989-90 when they opened up 8-1.
"It is a big opportunity for us to try and get them back," head coach Michael White said. "They will be very prepared. They are a good team. They were terrific up here last year and we will have to play well. We will have to rebound the ball a lot better to have a chance. They have, in my opinion, the strongest front court as anyone we will play this year, at the 3-4-5."
Defense led the charge for the `Dogs in their last game, a 65-52 victory over Jackson State. The team scored 32 points off of 22 turnovers with Alex Hamilton and Kenneth Smith combining for seven steals and Michale Kyser swatting away seven balls.
Hamilton is leading the charge on offense as well, earning his second career Conference USA Player of the Week award after being the leading scorer the past two games, including a 30-point effort. The junior guard has upped his scoring average to 13.9 points per game.
Another Bulldog who has come on strong lately is Kyser who is playing the most minutes of his career and the stats are backing up the extended playing time. Against NSU he recorded 16 points, 13 rebounds and five blocks and followed it up versus JSU with nine points, nine rebounds and seven blocks.
"He is playing with a lot of confidence and swagger," White said about Kyser. "He feels more comfortable with the ball in his hands. We are still a work in progress, relative to him getting the ball in position to do more offensively for us. Defensively, you could not ask for anymore."
His play in the paint on both ends will be crucial against Louisiana-Lafayette (3-4) who put together back-to-back wins versus Oral Roberts and Jackson State before having an 80-70 setback loss at McNeese State.
The one bright spot in the loss was the return of Ragin' Cajun big man Shawn Long who missed a pair of games earlier in the season. He recorded his first double-double of the year against the Cowboys with 18 points and 11 rebounds to go along with five blocks.
The double-double machine has tallied 37 in his career, the second most in the NCAA among active players.
In the three-plus seasons at the helm, coach White has already faced seven of the 11 active Sun Belt Conference members and is 12-2 against them.
The contest can be heard live on the LA Tech Sports Network on KXKZ 107.5 FM (Ruston), KJVC 92.7 FM (Mansfield) and KTKC 92.9 FM (Springhill). The "Voice of the Bulldogs" Dave Nitz will call the play-by-play and Jack Thigpen will provide analysis. Fans can also access live audio of the game via the Internet by subscribing to LA Tech All-Access at LATechSports.com.
Twitter users can also receive live in-game updates by following @LATechHoops.
Links to live stats and a live video stream can be found on the schedule page.
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