The Louisiana Tech Bulldogs booked the final spot in the 2014 Conference USA men’s basketball championship. Thanks to dominating second half the Bulldogs trounced the Southern Miss Golden Eagles 88-70.
It was back and forth for most of the first half until Louisiana Tech finished the last five minutes of the first half on a 16-9 run and went into halftime with a six point lead. That carried over into the second half when Louisiana Tech started the second half on a 19-7 run and at one point had a 20 point lead.
Southern Miss made efforts to comeback, but could not cut the lead to single digits. Senior forward Michael Craig led the Golden Eagles with 19 points on nine for 11 shooting. Turnovers eventually plagued the Golden Eagles, the Bulldogs forced Southern Miss into 21 turnovers to six assists.
Southern Miss now stands at 27-6 with today loss. The Golden Eagles NCAA tournament hopes are still undecided as they will hope for an at large bid.
It was an all-around team effort for Louisiana Tech. Five Bulldogs were in double figures, and as a team the Bulldogs shot 48 percent from three hitting 12 of their 25 attempts which neutralized the Southern Miss zone defense that plagued UTEP last night.
The biggest contributor to Louisiana Tech’s dominate win was the Southern Miss foul trouble. Louisiana Tech went into the bonus with more than 10 minutes left in the second half and the double bonus just minutes later.
Louisiana Tech now moves to 27-6 and will face the Tulsa Golden Hurricane in the men’s championship game tomorrow morning at the Don Haskins Center.
Javier Cortez may be reached at [email protected]