RUSTON – The Louisiana Tech men’s basketball team returns to the Thomas Assembly Center for the first time in almost three weeks as they play host to UTEP on Thursday night at 6:30 p.m. on Karl Malone Court.
The game will be broadcast by beIN Sports with Phil Schoen and Megan Perry calling the action that will be available through streaming service providers Sling and Fubo TV as well as on beINSports.com and the beIN Sports Connect app with select cable and service providers.
Fans can also listen to the Voice of the Bulldogs Dave Nitz and Jack Thigpen call the game through the LA Tech Sports Network on KXKZ 107.5 FM (Ruston), KJVC 92.7 FM (Mansfield) and KRMD 100.7 FM/1340 AM (Shreveport) as well as on the Louisiana Tech X mobile app.
There is a Valentine’s Day special as tickets are buy one, get one free. It is also the Block Cancer game as part of the Mike Slive Foundation to bring awareness to prostate cancer research. There will also be AD Honor Roll recognition at halftime.
LA Tech (15-10, 5-7 C-USA) looks to put an end to their three-game losing streak and coming home to play in the TAC where they are 12-0 this season might very well be the remedy.
The Bulldogs fell in overtime this past Saturday to travel partner Southern Miss, 73-71, which put the team in a tie for eighth place in the league standings with two games to go before bonus play begins.
It was the third OT game played by LA Tech this season, but the first loss suffered in the extra frame. The ‘Dogs did well to force overtime as they were down by four with 34 seconds remaining in regulation.
JaColby Pemberton hit a big three-pointer at that time as well as another big three in OT, both of which gave the Bulldogs a chance to pull out their first league road win. He ended up playing a career-high 42 minutes while recording a team-high 17 points and eight rebounds. He is one of the four starters who are averaging double-figure points at 10.4 per game.
The Bulldogs have been perfect at home in conference play with a 5-0 mark. In such games, LA Tech owns a +12.8 scoring margin with a scoring offense of 71.8 points per game while allowing just 59.0 points per game.
Shooting numbers are much higher as well on the home rims with a 44.9 percent clip from the field and 38.1 percent from beyond the arc.
Thursday’s opponent UTEP (8-15, 3-9 C-USA) has equally struggled on the road as the Miners are winless this season away from El Paso with an 0-9 mark.
They are coming off their third C-USA win of the season though, picking up an 85-75 victory over FIU this past Saturday which ended a three-game losing skid. The Miners are in 13th place in the league standings under first-year head coach Rodney Terry who came to UTEP after being the head coach at Fresno State for the last seven seasons.
Freshmen have been the driving force for UTEP this season. Nigel Hawkins, Jordan Lathon and Efe Odigie have each started almost every game as freshmen and contributed in a big way.
Hawkins is averaging a team-best 15.8 points per game in conference play. Lathon is averaging 9.8 points per game for the season and has a team-high 61 assists. Then there is Odigie who is nearly averaging a double-double with 12.7 points and a team-high 9.9 boards per game (second most in C-USA).
LA Tech and UTEP are meeting for the 25th time on the hardwood. The Bulldogs own a 13-11 edge and are 6-3 against the Miners since the two became league foes in C-USA. LA Tech has won nine of the 10 meetings over UTEP in Ruston, including the last five.
Twitter users can follow @LATechHoops for live in-game updates.