RUSTON, La (Louisiana Tech Athletics) – Louisiana Tech dug itself a hole it could not get out of, falling 74-67 to Charlotte on Saturday afternoon inside the Thomas Assembly Center on Karl Malone Court.
LA Tech (13-14, 6-10 C-USA) dropped its fourth straight game and just like in Thursday’s game, the Bulldogs were not able to put things together on the defensive end.
Charlotte (16-11, 7-9 C-USA) shot a blistering 62.2 percent from the field for the game. The 49ers were even hotter in the first half, making 20 of their 29 field goal attempts. It was a half where they put together several runs, including 10 straight points at the end of the stanza to take a 48-30 lead.
The Bulldogs found the right lineup in the second half and began to chip away. Keaston Willis had a pair of early three-pointers to get things rolling. Then it was Isaiah Crawford scoring and dishing during an 8-0 run to get to within five at 52-57 with 8:53 to play.
A made jumper by Kaleb Stewart got the ‘Dogs to within one possession, down three with five minutes left. However, the 49ers’ Aly Khalifa buried his fourth three-pointer of the game to extend their lead and keep it.
Willis, Crawford, and Stewart combined to score 47 of LA Tech’s 67 points. Crawford tacked on a career-high eight assists while the team shot 47.3 percent from the field.
Khalifa had a game-high 22 points for the 49ers.
Head coach Talvin Hester
“We came out with no life. My goal when going into the locker room at halftime was to find five guys that wanted to play hard. I found five guys that wanted to fight for Louisiana Tech. We have to find guys that are not interested in what the game does for them and find guys that care about what we do as a team.”
- With the 74-67 loss, LA Tech now leads the all-time series over Charlotte, 9-3. The Bulldogs dropped their first ever game to the 49ers in Ruston (had won the previous five).
- Keaston Willis led the Bulldogs in scoring for a second straight game (fifth time this season) with 17 points.
- Keaston Willis hit three three-pointers, giving him 68 for the season, tied for the 10th most in program history.
- Isaiah Crawford reached double-digit points for the sixth straight game.
- Isaiah Crawford recorded a career-high eight assists.
- Kaleb Stewart tallied 15 points, two shy of tying his career high.
LA Tech makes to Bowling Green, Kentucky to battle the WKU Hilltoppers on Thursday, Feb. 23 inside E.A. Diddle Arena. The matchup is set for 8 p.m. CT and will be nationally televised on CBS Sports Network.
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