LA Tech Suffers First Home Loss of the Season

RUSTON – Louisiana Tech had its 11-game home winning streak snapped on Wednesday night as Stephen F. Austin scored the game-winning basket with five seconds left to break the 13th tie of the game in what ended with a final score of 85-83 inside the Thomas Assembly Center. 

In what was a rollercoaster of a game, LA Tech (6-2) found itself up five after DaQuan Bracey drained a NBA-range three with 4:47 left to go.  From there though, SFA (8-1) continued to do what they did all night – force turnovers and get offensive rebounds – that allowed them to mount the comeback.

The Lumberjacks would force two turnovers which they turned into four points and get an offensive board which turned into two more at the free throw line that gave them a three-point edge. 

Senior guard Jacobi Boykins, who had hit a previous triple to cut the deficit down to one, drilled another one from the top of the key with 17 seconds left to even the game up. 

However, SFA’s Kevon Harris connected on a driving layup to break that tie.  Bracey attempted a 35-foot three-pointer at the buzzer, but it fell short. 

“You go into a game against (Stephen F. Austin) and you know what you’re going to get,” head coach Eric Konkol said.  “That’s a team that pressures and looks to force turnovers.  We certainly knew that we’d turn it over some, but they really made us pay on those.  The amount of points in the paint they got off those turnovers and then giving up those offensive rebounds – defensively we just did not get enough stops tonight.  That’s really the most disappointing thing.”

LA Tech ended with an uncharacteristic 17 turnovers.  Stephen F. Austin made the Bulldogs pay by turning those into 25 points. 

LA Tech ended up outrebounding SFA, 30-29.  The Lumberjacks though pulled down a total of 13 offensive rebounds that resulted in 13 second chance points. 

These two stats were a big reason why the Bulldogs were having to claw back into the game a good chunk of the time.  The first time was in the first half with 3:19 to play, down 38-29. 

Coach Konkol, looking for some stops on defense, subbed in redshirt freshman JaColby Pemberton who helped do just that … get stops.  He sparked a 10-0 run by the ‘Dogs, the last six coming on a three-pointer and an old-fashioned three-point play by junior guard Derric Jean, to claim a one-point lead at half. 

“I told the team afterwards that JaColby (Pemberton) earned the playing time because he had been playing very tough and physical in practice,” Konkol said.  “He continued that in this game and earned even more time and that was what we needed.  That was a very tough, physical game out there and he provided what we needed.”

The run spilled over into the second half as LA Tech scored the first six points of the stanza to take its largest lead of the game at 45-38, capped off by a backdoor slam from Boykins.  

LA Tech played well enough offensively to win, shooting 54 percent from the field (25-of-46) and 69 percent from three-point range (11-of-16).  They also cashed in at the foul line, making 22 of their 26 free throw attempts. 

Four Bulldogs ended up double figures, led by Bracey who notched 19 points (scored 10 of the team’s first 14 in the early going).  He also dished out a season-high eight assists. 

Jean and Boykins each registered 16 points, coming for seven triples, while sophomore guard Jalen Harris posted 13 points. 

SFA took 22 more shot attempts, going 34-of-68 from the field (50 percent) and 7-of-15 from deep (47 percent).  The ‘Jacks had three players in double digits, anchored by Harris who made 10 field goals in route to a game-high 25 points. 

LA Tech continues its four-game home stand on Saturday, Dec. 9 versus Jackson State.  Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. in the TAC.


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