By: Kane McGuire/Louisiana Tech Athletics
BOWLING GREEN, Kentucky – E.A. Diddle Arena has not been a kind place to Louisiana Tech in recent years.
Four years ago, the Bulldogs fell by one point. Two years ago, they lost in overtime. And on Thursday night, they had WKU on the ropes again but were not able to close things out, ultimately falling 95-91 in overtime in their last road game of the regular season.
LA Tech (20-8, 11-5 C-USA) had a 17-point lead with 5:51 to go in the contest. However, WKU (19-9, 12-4 C-USA) clawed back into it with a ton of free throws and timely baskets, making its last four field goals which included three straight three-pointers (one banked in and the other two from NBA range).
The final one came from Taveion Hollingsworth with 2.5 seconds left that forced overtime. The Hilltoppers then outscored the Bulldogs, 15-11, in the extra five minutes with just two made FGs to go along with 11 made free throws.
“We’ve got to be able to get stops and close out games,” said head coach Eric Konkol. “Give WKU credit, they hit some deep shots, many that were contested. We had a very hard time stopping them when we needed to.
LA Tech lead for the entire time in regulation, opening things up with a 7-0 run and eventually taking a 37-33 lead into halftime. WKU got to within one with 15:49 to go, but the ‘Dogs countered with a 9-0 run to force a timeout by the home team.
The squad pounded the paint for 52 points, including back-to-back driving layups by DaQuan Bracey to give LA Tech a 63-47 advantage. They still had a double-digit lead with 1:50 to go, but the threes and free throws came in bunches for WKU and never stopped.
The Bulldogs shot 48 percent from the field, making eight three-pointers. Five players scored in double figures – Derric Jean (16), DaQuan Bracey (15), JaColby Pemberton (15), Cobe Williams (career-high 13) and Amorie Archibald (10). Pemberton added 10 boards for his first double-double of the season.
The Hilltoppers shot 43 percent from the field, but the eye-popping number is going 32-of-36 from the charity stripe. Hollingsworth, who made more free throws than the entire Bulldog team, went for 43 points.
LA Tech returns to the hardwood on Wednesday, March 4 when they host FIU inside the Thomas Assembly Center on Karl Malone Court. Tipoff is set for 6:30 p.m.
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