FRISCO, Texas – Louisiana Tech had its heart broken again by Old Dominion, falling 57-56 in the C-USA Tournament Quarterfinals on Thursday night inside The Star.
LA Tech (20-13) held a seven-point lead with less than two minutes to go, but the regular season champion ODU (24-8) ended the game on an 8-0 run, including the game-winning three-pointer by Ahmad Caver in the closing seconds.
“A tough loss for us,” said head coach Eric Konkol. But, I couldn’t be prouder of our guys for their effort and resolve. They’ve been through a lot this year, but they’ve fought every day in practice to put ourselves in position to beat the regular season champion.
“Other than some tremendous plays down the stretch by Caver, we played great. The ball bounces a different way, you feel a whole lot different.”
It was a similar game to the previous one the two teams played almost two months ago in Norfolk as the Monarchs won a close-fight game with the same exact result – a one-point edge.
Down 23-18, the Bulldogs closed the half with a 10-2 run to take a three-point edge into the locker room. The ‘Dogs came out firing in the second stanza as well, getting back-to-back three-pointers from Amorie Archibald and Anthony Duruji.
Then just a couple of minutes later, DaQuan Bracey converted on a driving layup and then Archibald found Duruji on an alley-oop slam to take its largest lead of the game at 38-27 with 16:48 remaining, forcing an ODU timeout.
LA Tech maintained its lead and looked prime to pull off the upset over the No. 1 seed, especially after Bracey beat the shot clock with a deep triple to go up 56-49 with 1:48 to go.
However, ODU’s Caver went back-to-back possessions with a made jumper and a three-pointer to cut the deficit down to two. Then the Monarchs took advantage of two missed free throws by the Bulldogs and hit the go-ahead three after an offensive rebound.
All eight of the Bulldogs scored in the game, led by Bracey who finished with a team-high 12 points and Ra’Shawn Langston who came off the bench to net 10. LA Tech finished 22-of-52 from the field (42 percent) while hitting seven three.
Caver had a game-high 17 points.
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