By: Kane McGuire (LA Tech Athletic Communications)
RUSTON, La (KMSS/KTAL) – Louisiana Tech got back into the win column on Thursday night with an 80-63 victory over Rice inside the Thomas Assembly Center on Karl Malone Court.
LA Tech (16-4, 7-1 C-USA) was balanced offensively, getting double-digit scoring from four Bulldogs to help the team shoot 48.5 percent from the field, 42.9 percent from three and 100 percent from the foul line.
Defensively, the ‘Dogs clamped down on a lethal shooting team in Rice (11-8, 4-4 C-USA). The Owls came into Ruston ranked in the top 10 in the country in three-point shooting, but were limited to just four made triples on 26 attempts.
Rice started the game strong, making five of their first seven shots to go up 11-6 early. After four ties over the next eight minutes, LA Tech held a 23-22 lead before closing the half on a 21-7 run (including three triples by Cobe Williams) to take a 44-29 edge into the locker room.
The Owls made a few runs in the second half, including a 7-0 run to get to within 10 at the 3:18 mark. However, Kenneth Lofton, Jr. followed with back-to-back buckets down low and then Keaston Willis followed those with a dagger three-pointer from the corner.
Lofton, Jr. registered his 11th double-double of the season with a game-high 19 points and 13 rebounds. Williams (17), Amorie Archibald (15) and Willis (10) were the other three Bulldogs in double figures.
Rice, who shot just 32.8 percent from the field, was anchored by Quincy Olivari who had 18 points and 10 boards.
Head coach Eric Konkol
“Happy to bounce back. I thought our guys were locked in all week, just getting back to work and try to get better. To see six turnovers as a team really makes me happy. Being able to take care of the basketball and I thought the guys shared the ball really well. Rice is a very tough cover. To hold them to four three-pointers was really something we were hoping to do. We took a couple of runs from them, but responded and came away with a very good conference win.”
- With the 80-63 win, LA Tech now leads the all-time series over Rice, 19-7. The Bulldogs have won 12 of the last 14 matchups, including four straight.
- LA Tech has now won eight straight over Rice in Ruston.
- The Bulldogs improved to 16-4 on the season. It is their best start through 20 games since the 2013-14 season.
- LA Tech improved to 11-1 at home this season. They have won at least 11 home games each of the last 11 seasons.
- The Bulldogs turned the ball over only six times, matching their season low.
- The Bulldogs shot 100 percent from the foul line (7-of-7). It is the second time this season they made all of their free throws in a game (went 13-of-13 at Santa Clara).
- Amorie Archibald made his 142nd career appearance and his 126th career start. The fifth-year senior has started 76 straight games.
- Kenneth Lofton, Jr. recorded his 11th double-double of the season and the 20th of his career (19 points and 13 rebounds). He has registered a double-double in five of the last seven games.
- Cobe Williams scored 17 points on the night. The Bulldogs are 19-2 all-time when Williams reaches double-digit points (have won 16 straight). He has done so in 10 of the last 12 games.
- With 15 points scored, Amorie Archibald moved up to 18th on the all-time career scoring list. He now has 1,490 career points.
LA Tech wraps up its three-game home stand by hosting North Texas on Saturday, Jan. 29. Tipoff is set for 3 p.m. CT and will be broadcast on Stadium.