LA Tech Begins C-USA Play at WKU
Dec. 27, 2017
RUSTON – After playing 13 non-conference games, Louisiana Tech will begin its 18-game Conference USA schedule on Thursday night when they take on WKU in Bowling Green, Kentucky with tipoff set for 7 p.m. inside E.A. Diddle Arena.
The matchup will be broadcast on beIN Sports and will also be streamed through beIN Connect with viewers needing to use their cable provider credentials to view the game. Mike Gleason and Jason Capel will call the action.
Fans can also listen to the Voice of the Bulldogs Dave Nitz call the game on the LA Tech Sports Network on KXKZ 107.5 FM (Ruston), KJVC 92.7 FM (Mansfield) and KRMD 100.7 FM (Shreveport) as well as on the Louisiana Tech X mobile app.
LA Tech (9-4) is still looking for its first true road win of the season. The Bulldogs have only played two such games, falling to Power 5 teams Alabama and Texas.
The ‘Dogs do carry some momentum into league action though as they are coming off their second regular season tournament title after winning the inaugural New Orleans Shootout right before Christmas break.
They first defeated Alabama State, 74-62, and then exactly one month to the day of beating a school from Indiana (Evansville) to win the Cancun Challenge, they bested another school from Indiana (Fort Wayne) by a final score of 85-76 to claim their second trophy.
Sophomore guard DaQuan Bracey was named the Tournament MVP after averaging 20.5 points, seven assists and three steals per game. He finished with a career-high 25 points versus the Mastodons.
Senior guard Jacobi Boykins was selected to the All-Tournament Team after averaging 18.5 points per game, including tying his season high with 23 in the finals. He made 10-of-15 three-pointers combined.
The duo is leading the team in scoring with Bracey averaging 16.0 points per contest and Boykins right behind with an average of 14.1 points per game.
Stepping up in a big way in New Orleans was also sophomore forward Oliver Powell who registered a career-high 17 points on 8-of-11 shooting in the finals.
In both games, LA Tech shot at least 50 percent from the field, 50 percent from three-point range and 70 percent from the foul line.
They will be facing a team just as good offensively in WKU (8-5) who currently ranks first in C-USA and 28th in the country in field goal percentage (49.9).
The Hilltoppers are a brand new team under second-year head coach Rick Stansbury. They lost eight letterwinners, including four starters, from a season ago and have completely revamped their lineup.
One of those returners is senior forward Justin Johnson who was a preseason All-Conference USA selection after being named Second Team All-CUSA last season. On a team that only goes eight players deep, he is one of the five starters that are all averaging double-figures with an average of 12.1 points per game. He also leads the team in rebounds with 8.5 boards per contest.
The two new guards, Darius Thompson and Taveion Hollingsworth, are averaging 14.2 and 13.8 points per game, respectively to anchor the squad in scoring.
WKU is 5-2 at home this season while posting impressive victories over nationally-ranked Purdue as well as SMU which took place at the Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas in November.
WKU currently leads in the all-time series, 16-15. LA Tech has won three of the last four and are 2-1 versus the Hilltoppers since becoming league foes in C-USA in 2014. The Bulldogs have lost two straight in E.A. Diddle Arena, the last win coming in 2000.
Twitter users can follow @LATechHoops for live in-game updates.
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