@LATechHoops Hosts Southern on Friday Night
Dec. 17, 2015
RUSTON – The last time Louisiana Tech came off a loss this season, it had to face a Southwestern Athletic Conference opponent at home the next game.
The situation sets up the same for Friday night as the Bulldogs look to rebound from their second defeat as they play host to SWAC foe Southern at 6:30 p.m. inside the Thomas Assembly Center.
Both road losses were identical in a lot of areas for LA Tech (8-2). The opponents each came into the game shooting sub-par from long range but set season highs in three-pointers made.
There was also the amount of points in the paint scored. The Tigers and Rebels combined to tally 92 such points against the short-handed front court of the Bulldogs.
“We need to be a better defensive team,” head coach Eric Konkol said. “Most of all, we need to improve at preventing penetration and finishing the possession with a rebound. Defending Southern’s offensive actions and their personnel well is critical for our success.
“On the offensive end, we need to work for great rhythm shots each time down the floor. The Jaguars are committed to defense and we need to make sure we are in attack mode and work for quality shots.”
Despite having to play most games this season with eight or nine scholarships players available, LA Tech has still managed to keep its home court winning streak intact and produce high offensive outputs with an average of 83.0 points per game which ranks 41st in the country.
A good chunk of that scoring has come from the two-headed monster of Alex Hamilton and Erik McCree who are each averaging 17 points, having scored in double figures in nine of the 10 games this season.
These two players, currently on pace to be one of the top scoring duos in program history, will be crucial in taking on Southern (7-3) who has already posted impressive victories this season over Mississippi State, Tulane and Wyoming.
The Jaguars nearly pulled off another upset this past Tuesday but feel by five points at Memphis.
“Southern has a very competitive group who plays very well together,” Konkol added. “They play with discipline on both ends of the court and their players have the ability to be aggressive and make plays both inside and out. Coach Banks has done a tremendous job with this team.”
Off to one of its best starts in a decade, SU ranks in the top 50 nationally on defense in turnover margin and steals per game. The Jags are also impressive on offense, shooting 39.7 percent from beyond the arc which is the 34th best in the nation.
Southern has three players averaging double figures in scoring, led by Adrian Rodgers with 15.9 points per game.
LA Tech leads the all-time series, 4-2. The two teams are squaring off for the third straight season. The Bulldogs have won the previous two times.
It will be a Christmas in the TAC on Friday night where fans can come take a picture with Santa. There will also be an ugly sweater contest where the winner will receive a signed basketball by head coach Eric Konkol.
Fans can access live video and audio of the game via the Internet by subscribing to LA Tech All-Access at LATechSports.com. The game can be heard live on the LA Tech Sports Network on KXKZ 107.5 FM (Ruston), KRMD 1340 AM (Shreveport), 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.
Twitter users can also receive live in-game updates by following @LATechHoops.
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