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December 8, 2013

Tech defeats Southern 69-50


RUSTON - It was a similar offensive performance by Louisiana Tech as the last game but with a different outcome.

The Bulldogs shot only 37 percent from the field for the contest but caused major havoc on defense in the form of 23 turnovers to wear down Southern in the 69-50 victory on Saturday night inside the Thomas Assembly Center.

Video by: Jonathan Ford

"The last couple of years we have been pretty good defensively and we were that tonight," said head coach Michael White. "We got back to taking pride and getting stops. I thought our turnover margin was terrific. I thought it was the biggest difference in the game. Our ability to turn Southern over in the full court and the half court really allowed us to get away with having a below average offensive night. "That is the type of defensive effort we need to have night in and night out. To hold Southern to 50 [points], I am impressed and proud of our guys. It was a really good effort. Southern is a very good team."

Both teams were cold on offense to start as it was knotted up, 10-10, eight minutes in.

LA Tech (7-2) then went even colder, going scoreless for almost five minutes while SU (2-7) went on a 9-0 run to take their largest lead.

With the team starting 0-for-5 from the foul line, Alex Hamilton ended the scoring drought with a free throw. On the next possession, Cordarious Johnson nailed the 'Dogs first three-pointer after opening up 0-for-4, and then the points started to come.

Video by: Jonathan Ford

Kenneth Smith scored six straight points on the next two possessions, one as an old-fashioned three-point play and the other from down town.

A running floater by Raheem Appleby tied it up, 27-27, with 2:37 left in the first stanza. The Bulldogs then closed out the half on an 8-2 run to gain the six-point lead at the break despite being outrebounded by 12.

With Southern's star forward Calvin Godfrey leaving the game due to injury late in the first half, LA Tech came out in the second half and went straight to Chris Anderson who knocked down a 15-footer and converted a three-point play.

Suddenly, the Bulldogs had their first double-digit lead of the night, 40-29.

"When Chris is in there, he is a tough cover," said White. "When he has a big on him, he can drive them. He has an ability to post you up as well and score with his back to the basket. He is versatile and at times we call his number offensively and he came through tonight."

The Jaguars pulled it to within seven, 42-35, with 15:18 remaining in the game, but the lead went back to 10 on a made three by Appleby, his lone attempt of the night.

The Bulldogs were able to gradually extend their lead the rest of the way thanks in large part to their defense. They tallied eight blocks, six by Michael Kyser , 12 steals, five coming from Smith and they got after it on the boards in the second half, outrebounding the opposition by nine.

It was 58-46 in favor of the 'Dogs before they used a 9-0 run to pull away, holding SU without a basket for a six-minute stretch.

Anderson finished with a game-high 15 points. Appleby chipped in with 13 points and Smith with 10.

Southern was led by Tre Lynch who recorded 14 points, including four three-pointers.

LA Tech concludes its three-game home stand on Wednesday as they take on Northwestern State at 8 p.m.

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