Louisiana Tech looks continue their undefeated record at the TAC against Marshall

Sports

RUSTON – For a second straight night, and like the series overall, the matchup between Louisiana Tech and Marshall went down to the wire.
 
This time on Saturday, It was a hot-shooting Thundering Herd team that prevailed in what ended up being a final score of 80-73 inside the Thomas Assembly Center on Karl Malone Court.
 
LA Tech (8-3, 1-1 C-USA) built as much as a 17-point lead early in the second half, but a switch turned on for Marshall (7-2, 1-1 C-USA) and they got hot.  And they never cooled off, scoring 53 points in the second stanza to split the Friday-Saturday series.
 
“For a good portion of the game, we had a good connection,” said head coach Eric Konkol.  “I felt like we lost that in the second half.  When we made a mistake and they got one three to go in, it ignited them.  And when they make threes, it really stretches you into doing other things.  When they were scoring, it limited our transition offense. 
 
“With the back-to-back games, I thought for about 65 minutes we executed and did the things we wanted to do.  But in that last 15 minutes, they really made us pay.”
 
For the first 23 minutes of Saturday’s game, almost everything was going the Bulldogs way.  The 48-31 lead, capped off by a running floater from Amorie Archibald with 16:40 to play, was built by playing efficient offense (was shooting 50 percent from the field at the time) while holding the Herd to just nine made field goals (including two stretches of 7+ misses). 
 
However, Marshall is never out of a game because of its lethal offense which suddenly came alive.  They ended up making 18 of their last 25 shot attempts. 
 
Despite that, the Bulldogs still had a chance to pull off the sweep, getting a lot of offensive help from Isaiah Crawford who made 10 straight points during the stretch. 
 
After Taevion Kinsey converted an and-one to give the Herd a 62-60 advantage (their first lead of the game since it was 5-3) with five minutes to go, Cobe Williams struck back with a three-pointer to take the lead right back.
 
It was short-lived as Andrew Taylor countered with a three-pointer on the other end.  Marshall was clinging to a one-point lead at 71-70 with 45 seconds to go, but pushed it out to a two-possession game as Jarrod West took advantage of a defensive lapse by the ‘Dogs and buried a three from the wing.
 
“This is a very unique situation, playing back-to-back games,” said Konkol.  “We have to be able to adjust.  We’ve got to be able to figure it out physically, but more importantly, mentally.  There are adjustments that can be made and we look to make those.”
 
LA Tech shot 40.0 percent from the field while making a season-low four triples.  Crawford shined for a second straight night, leading the team with 18 points and seven boards.  Williams added a career-high 17 points.  Archibald (11) and Kalob Ledoux (10) were the other two Bulldogs in double figures. 
 
Marshall ended up shooting 44.4 percent from the field for the contest, but shot 63.3 percent in the second half alone.  Kinsey led all scorers with 20.   
 
LA Tech will step outside the state of Louisiana for the first time on Friday, Jan. 8 when they travel to take on C-USA preseason favorite WKU.  Tipoff is set for 7 p.m

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