By: Kane McGuire/Louisiana Tech Athletics
RUSTON – The Louisiana Tech men’s basketball team had five players score in double figures and used an early 22-0 run against Wiley College to run away with a 98-52 victory on Tuesday night inside the Thomas Assembly Center on Karl Malone Court.
LA Tech (2-0) was unselfish and made easy work of Wiley (2-2). Defensively, the Bulldogs forced 31 turnovers which is the most in the Eric Konkol era while also accumulating 16 steals and nine blocks. They also limited Taylan Grogan, who entered the game averaging 31 points, to only four.
Offensively, the ‘Dogs shot 51 percent from the field while making 37 shots, 10 of those being three-pointers. The best made field goal of the night was the last one which was a triple from the corner by Exavian Christon nearly one year later after collapsing on the basketball court.
“I thought our team prepared properly,” said Konkol. “Regardless of who is on the schedule and what name is on the front of the jersey, you have to have a high level of preparation. I was pleased with the way we shared the basketball, having 23 assists on 37 makes. We took one possession at a time for most of the game and that was a big reason why we got the win.
“It was not planned before the game to play Exavian. It was something we talked about during the game. He has been on a long journey. So appreciative of our fans and the whole community of Ruston for lifting him up. It was special.”
LA Tech got its first bucket of the night via Kalob Ledoux, the first of his team-leading four three-pointers. The squad only made three from beyond the arc the entire first half, but did plenty of damage in the paint.
With the Bulldogs up 6-2 early, they went on a 22-0 run that spanned nearly eight minutes of action. Ultimately, they took a 55-20 lead into the locker room at halftime.
In the second half, the threes started to rain. Ledoux hit back-to-back threes that was part of a quick 10-0 run that forced a Wiley College timeout with the Bulldogs up 69-25 with 16:21 to go.
Xaiver Armstead got in on the action from the deep too, hitting three himself the remainder of the contest.
Ledoux led the way by posting a game-high 18 points. JaColby Pemberton was not far behind with 17, going 7-of-10 from the field. Armstead contributed 15 points and DaQuan Bracey and Isaiah Crawford each tallied 11 points.
Mubarak Muhammed stuffed the stat sheet as well, recording five points to go along with a team-high 10 rebounds, three steals and a career-high four blocks.
LA Tech scored 35 points off turnovers and had 52 paint points.
Wiley was limited to 28 percent shooting from the field (19-68) and 30 percent from downtown (6-20). Travious Grubbs netted 17 points while Gregory Gallon came off the bench to tally 13.
The Bulldogs will now head to Omaha, Nebraska on Saturday, Nov. 16 to face Creighton. Tipoff is set for 5 p.m. and will be televised on FS2.
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