Bulldogs Travel to Austin to Take on Longhorns
Dec. 15, 2017
RUSTON – The non-conference schedule does not get any easier for Louisiana Tech as they travel to Austin to take on Texas on Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. inside the Frank Erwin Center.
After having four straight home games over the last two weeks, LA Tech (7-3) will face its second true road test of the season against a Power 5 school in Texas (6-3).
The matchup will be broadcast on the Longhorn Network and can been on Watch ESPN or on the WatchESPN app with Lowell Galindo and Lance Blanks calling the action.
Fans can also listen to the Voice of the Bulldogs Dave Nitz and Jack Thigpen call the game on the LA Tech Sports Network on KXKZ 107.5 FM (Ruston) and KJVC 92.7 FM (Mansfield) as well as on the Louisiana Tech X mobile app.
It has been a season of close games so far, some ending with a win like the overtime victory against SEMO and the thriller versus Evansville to win the Cancun Challenge.
Others have been heartbreaking like the three losses that have come in the team’s last five games. All three have been decided by four points or less, including the recent 75-71 defeat to Louisiana-Lafayette.
LA Tech found itself down by as much as 18 points, but they mounted a furious comeback late in the second half to get to within one-possession with less than a minute to play. However, the ‘Dogs comeback effort fell short.
Shooting the basketball has certainly not been the issue during this rough stretch. Over the last four games in which they are 2-2, the Bulldogs are averaging 87.8 points per game and shooting 53 percent from the field, 51 percent from three and 78 percent from the charity stripe.
The most common denominator has been turnovers. In the loss to No. 24 Alabama, LA Tech committed 14. Versus SFA, it was 17. Then against ULL, it was a season-high 18.
The Bulldogs will have to take better care of the rock and provide more energy on the defensive side of the ball if they want to pull off an upset of Texas (6-3) who is just outside the AP Top 25 rankings.
The Longhorns have felt similar heartbreak on the hardwood this season. They have suffered two overtime losses to then No. 1 Duke and to No. 16 Gonzaga at the PK80 in Portland, Oregon and recently suffered a 59-52 home loss to Michigan, having to play without their leading scorer Andrew Jones who suffered a wrist fracture in the prior game.
Texas is currently led in scoring by forward Dylan Osetkowski who is averaging 14.3 points per game. He had a team-high 17 points in the recent setback to the Wolverines.
Mohamed Bamba, the 6-foot-11-inch freshman phenom, recorded his second straight double-double in the game. Bamba was named the Big 12 Conference Preseason Freshman of the Year and was one of 32 players selected to the Oscar Robertson Trophy watch list, an annual honor that recognizes college basketball’s national player of the year.
Led by third-year head coach Shaka Smart, Texas was picked to finish fourth in the Big 12 preseason poll.
Texas leads the all-time series over LA Tech, 3-0, with the last meeting coming in the Bulldogs 2010-11 season opener in Austin.
LA Tech will try to win its first game in the series much like it did the last time they played a Big 12 opponent which was Oklahoma. The ‘Dogs went up to Norman in December of 2013 and came out on top in overtime with a 102-98 win.
For Twitter users can follow @LATechHoops for live in-game updates.
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