Contributed by: LA Tech Athletic Communications
RUSTON – Louisiana Tech could not withstand the hot shooting of Marshall on Thursday night as they fell 90-79 inside the Thomas Assembly Center on Karl Malone Court.
LA Tech (18-11, 8-8 C-USA) had its 15-game home winning streak snapped in what was the home finale as the defense was not able to contain a well-rested Marshall (15-13, 8-7 C-USA) squad who had almost two weeks off.
The first time the Herd played in the TAC, they hit just eight three-pointers. They doubled that tonight, draining 16 triples which was the second most they have made in a single game this season.
“I thought our effort was there, we just weren’t connected enough,” said head coach Eric Konkol. “We weren’t consistent enough. We made some gambling plays. You have to give credit to Marshall for the way they shot the ball. They were in a great rhythm tonight. Every little change we made, they had an answer for it.”
Both squads came out scorching hit on offense. The Herd made four of their first five three-point attempts. The Bulldogs made their first five, helping them build an early 21-14 advantage with 13:35 to play in the first half.
LA Tech was holding onto a 26-25 lead after Mubarak Muhammed quickly became the fifth Bulldog to make a bucket from downtown. However, that was the ‘Dogs last lead of the game as Marshall went on a fast 11-2 run to force a timeout by the home team.
The Herd ended up hitting 10 of their 16 triples in the first half. Despite that, the Bulldogs found themselves down only seven at 48-41 at the midway point.
Marshall used the three-ball to extend its lead to as much as 16 points with 13:02 to play. LA Tech started chipping away though behind the play of DaQuan Bracey – made a career-high six threes – and Amorie Archibald who finished with 26 and 18 points, respectively.
Two made free throws by another double-digit scorer Anthony Duruji (had 12) made it just a six-point game at 79-73 with plenty of time left on the clock at 4:16 remaining. However, the Herd’s Jon Elmore made their next 10 points starting with a foul he induced to get to the foul line and stymy LA Tech’s run.
“We scored the ball well enough to win, but we could not make them miss,” Konkol said. “We strung some possessions together in the second half where it felt like we were getting to our normal self. But we could not get over the hump to get a lead and try to keep it.”
JaColby Pemberton was the fourth Bulldog in double figures with 10. The team shot 44 percent from the field (27-61) and 46 percent from beyond the arc (12-26).
Elmore finished with a game-high 34 points as Marshall shot 51 percent from the field (29-57).
LA Tech will now go on the road for its final two games of the regular season starting on Sunday, March 3 in Miami versus FIU. Tipoff is set for 11 a.m. CT.