By: Kane McGuire/Louisiana Tech Athletics
RUSTON – Defense led the way for the Louisiana Tech men’s basketball team on Tuesday night as the Bulldogs recorded a 76-43 victory over the Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils inside the Thomas Assembly Center on Karl Malone Court.
LA Tech (3-1) could not get a whole lot going offensively, knocking down just three three-pointers while also struggling from the foul line.
However, they were able to score plenty because the defense held MVSU (0-5) to 24 percent shooting for the game (just two made triples) and a season low in scoring. The ‘Dogs also locked down the backcourt duo of Michael Green and Caleb Hunter who combined to go 7-of-38 from the field.
“I thought we came out flat,” said head coach Eric Konkol. “There were things in the first half that really made the game tight. [MVSU] was able to get some looks that they wanted and we did not play clean offensively.
“We improved in the second half as we were able to score more off our defense. We came out and really used our defense. We’ve got to be able to get stops and thrust it into some good baskets. That is what helped us really extend the lead.”
The first half was particularly sluggish for the Bulldogs. After going on an early 11-0 run, the team went almost nine minutes of action with just eight total points scored. Because of that, it was a marginal 19-17 lead with 6:34 to go in the period.
LA Tech extended the lead to double-digits, but only managed a 36-24 advantage at halftime after the Delta Devils’ Richard Rivers, Jr. connected on a three-pointer from the corner right before the clock struck zero.
The defense clamped down even more in the second half, allowing just five total points through the first nine minutes of action. On the other end, the Bulldogs got scoring from six different people, including a thunderous two-handed slam by Andrew Gordon, to go up 59-29 with 10:44 left.
“Our individual on-ball defense was good,” said Konkol. “[MVSU] makes a lot of individual plays and we were able to contest a good number of their shots. There are things we want to take moving forward, but also some things we need to get better at.”
Isaiah Crawford took the team home offensively, scoring LA Tech’s final seven points to help post a career-high and game-high 12 points. JaColby Pemberton matched him with 12 while Mubarak Muhammed and Amorie Archibald each tallied 10.
The Bulldogs shot 42 percent from the field (28-67). They also ended up grabbing 56 rebounds, a team-high nine of those coming from Muhammed, and forced 17 turnovers.
Green for MVSU came into the contest averaging 22 points per game but only tallied 10 with two made field goals. Hunter had a team-high 12 points.
Next up for LA Tech is a home matchup against North Alabama on Friday, Nov. 22. Tipoff is set for 6:30 p.m. in the TAC.
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