LA Tech Wraps Up Non-Conference Play at UALR
Dec. 16, 2012
RUSTON - The Louisiana Tech (8-3) men's basketball team concludes their non-conference schedule prior to WAC play on Monday night as they take on UALR (8-4) at 7 p.m. in Little Rock, Ark. inside the Jack Stephens Center.
The Bulldogs look to get over their recent road struggles before Christmas break as they have dropped their last two games away from the Thomas Assembly Center, but it will a tough task as the Trojans are a perfect 7-0 at home this season.
"It would be very nice to finish strong before the break," said head coach Michael White whose team will have 12 days off before starting their WAC schedule. "We also understand though that UALR is playing much better than they were a month ago. We'll have to play one of our best games to have a chance. It will be a big opportunity to fix some of our road woes versus a quality program."
The win over the Trojans on Nov. 14 in Ruston was the first win of the season for the `Dogs as they built a 23-6 lead right out of the gate and never looked back on their way to a 70-52 win.
The press defense of LA Tech held UALR to just 20 points in the first half and guard Cordarius Johnson led the team with a game-high 17 points on 7-of-11 shooting.
That same stifling defense would be the catalyst for a seven-game winning streak. However, in their past two road games against Northwestern State and McNeese State, the Bulldogs have allowed an average of 84.5 points per game and over 50 percent shooting by both opponents.
"We need to get our identity back as a defensive team," said White. "We've gotten comfortable offensively in our last two road games, and I think it's been part of our defensive problem. We can't trade baskets, especially on the road. We need to get our edge back at UALR."
Also looking to get over their recent struggles are guards Raheem Appleby and Cordarius Johnson. The Bulldogs leading scorers are averaging 17.8 and 12.5 points per game, respectively, but have both hit a lull offensively and have not cracked double-digit points in the last two games.
The Trojans bring their big lineup, anchored by 6-foot-10 forward Will Neighbour, who averages a team-high 11.4 points and 6.2 rebounds per contest.
As a team they shoot 43 percent from the field and 36 percent from three-point range.
The Bulldogs lead the all-time series 26-13 over the Trojans and have already posted three wins over Sun Belt Conference schools this season - UALR, Troy and UL-Monroe.
The last three matchups in Arkansas have all resulted in Trojan victories. The last win for LA Tech on the road against UALR came on Jan. 7, 2001 in overtime.
The contest will be broadcast live on the LA Tech Sports Network, including KXKZ 107.5 FM (Ruston), KJVC 92.7 (Mansfield) and KTKC 92.9 FM (Springhill) with the pregame show beginning at 6:30 p.m. The "Voice of the Bulldogs" Dave Nitz will do the play-by-play while 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 www.LATechSports.com.
Twitter users can also receive live in-game updates by following @LATechHoops.