Jan. 20, 2018
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LA Tech vs. Rice box
LA Tech season stats
RUSTON ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢'Â¬" Louisiana Tech was locked in defensively, allowing the fewest points all season, and locked in from deep, hitting 11 three-pointers, in what led to a 69-54 victory over Rice on Saturday night in front of 3,836 fans inside the Thomas Assembly Center.
LA Tech (12-9, 3-5 C-USA) was not the team that set the tone at the beginning of the game though. Rice (4-16, 1-6 C-USA) came out and hit eight of its first 11 shots.
However, the Bulldogs limited the Owls to 29 percent shooting the rest of the way. Meanwhile, Jacobi Boykins was feeling it from long range as the senior tied his season high with six triples to help give him a game-high 21 points.
"In yesterday's preparation, we talked about how talented Rice is at scoring as a team ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢'Â¬" with the different pieces they have and how they shoot the three," head coach Eric Konkol said. "They gave us a great example of that in the first several minutes of the game ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢'Â¬" they scored 19 points on 10 possessions. But after that, I thought we really settled in. Of course we made some mistakes, but the effort was really there and we were able to lock in and get some stops."
At the 13:15 mark in the first half, Rice got a tip-in from Austin Meyer to push its early lead to 19-13. Boykins kept the Bulldogs in the contest, connecting on his first three three-pointers.
The Owls missed their next 12 shots though. The 'Dogs used that to go on a 9-0 run, capped by an Exavian Christon three, to grab the lead back at 21-19 which forced a Rice timeout.
Boykins fourth three gave the home team a 32-23 edge with 5:41 to play in the first stanza. LA Tech would only get an alley-oop from Amorie Archibald to Anthony Duruji the rest of the half to take a 34-28 advantage into the locker room.
The offensive struggles continued into the second half as Rice chipped away and got the deficit down to one-possession at 43-40 with 11:26 to play. Boykins responded with an and-one from beyond the arc, completing the four-point play at the foul line to push the lead back up to seven.
"Early on we were giving up points, but we were able to score as well," Konkol said. "Jacobi got free and hit several threes fairly early in the game. He had a big first half. He also had to guard Connor Cashaw a good bit and was locked into that, and just played a very solid game. He made some really good decisions and led us, as we expect our senior to do."
LA Tech was able to put the game away with threes from some other Bulldogs. In the span of 94 seconds, Jy'lan Washington knocked in two triples and Derric Jean hit one from the corner to make it a 67-47 edge with 3:40 to go.
The Bulldogs went 23-of-55 from the field (42 percent) and 11-of-29 from three-point range (38 percent). Joining Boykins in double figures were Washington (13), Archibald (12) and Duruji (10).
Rice shot 37 percent from the field (22-59) and 27 percent from beyond the arc (6-22). The Owls had three players with double-digit points, led by Conner Cashaw with 14. Meyer contributed with a double-double, registering 12 points and 10 boards.
LA Tech concludes its three-game home stand on Saturday, Jan. 27 when they play host to Southern Miss. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m.
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