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Louisiana Tech (21-5) at East Carolina (13-13)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Thursday, February 20, 7 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Minges Coliseum (8,000) -- Greenville, North Carolina. Television: None. Home Record: La Tech 12-1, ECU 7-6. Away Record: La Tech 6-3, ECU 3-7. Neutral Record: La Tech 3-1, ECU 3-0. Conference Record: La Tech 9-2, ECU 2-9. Series Record: First-ever meeting.

GAME NOTES: The Louisiana Tech Bulldogs will try to keep hold of the top spot in the Conference USA standings tonight, as they tangle with the East Carolina Pirates at Minges Coliseum.

Louisiana Tech has reeled off four straight wins to move into a three-way tie for first place along with UTEP and Middle Tennessee. The Bulldogs are coming off Saturday's 85-46 trouncing of Rice. However, that victory came on their home floor, and beginning with tonight's contest the Bulldogs will close out the regular-season schedule by playing four of their final five games on the road.

Meanwhile, East Carolina is opening a three-game homestand. The Pirates were also in action last Saturday and suffered a tough, 53-51 setback at North Texas. The loss was their second in a row and ninth over their past 11 games.

This bout marks the first-ever meeting between East Carolina and C-USA newcomer Louisiana Tech in men's basketball.

The Bulldogs did not face a whole lot of resistance in Saturday's lopsided win over Rice, as they held a 41-24 rebounding advantage and forced 23 turnovers, which yielded a huge 25-9 edge in points off turnovers. The Owls, who came in averaging better than eight 3-pointers per game, failed to register a trey in the opening half and finished with only five for the game. In fact, no Rice player reached double figures in the scoring column. Meanwhile, Kenyon McNeail led all scorers with 17 points off the bench for a Louisiana Tech squad that boasts the nation's No. 4 scoring offense (84.2 ppg).

McNeail (10.2 ppg) is one of four different players to lead the team in scoring over the last five games, illustrating the Bulldogs' balanced attack in the absence of injured top scorer Raheem Appleby (16.1 ppg). Chris Anderson (11.7 ppg) recorded a double-double with 16 points and 12 boards in Saturday's win, picking up the slack for Alex Hamilton (14.8 ppg), who shot just 3-of-11 from the floor and finished with eight points.

Like Tech's last opponent, ECU is also a dangerous outside shooting team that leads the conference with an average of 8.4 threes made per game, which ranks 23rd nationally. Of course, they also attempt a lot of threes as they rank 17th in the nation in that department (602). Akeem Richmond, a 36.2-percent shooter from beyond the arc, headlines that effort with his team-best and No. 3 league average of 18.1 ppg. Richmond is tied for first in the country with 4.5 threes made per game and is second in total threes made (117).

The Bulldogs put up a tough fight against North Texas but ultimately came up short when Prince Williams' final attempt was blocked with six seconds on the game clock. The loss spoiled another solid showing from freshman Caleb White, who had a game-high 17 points. He has scored 17 or more in four of the last six games. Williams chipped in with 15 points off the bench against the Mean Green, while teammate Michael Zangari matched a personal-best with 11 boards. However, Richmond managed only six points while second-leading scorer Paris Roberts-Campbell (12.6 ppg) failed to register a single point in 36 minutes of action.

Unfortunately for ECU, its outside shooting prowess plays right into the Bulldogs' strength, which is their league-best perimeter defense (.281). In C- USA play, Tech has held foes to an even stingier 24.5 percent from beyond the arc.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Louisiana Tech 75, East Carolina 64

02/20 10:25:51 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
4th
PHI 79
CHA 102
 
4th
PHI 79
CHA 102
 
4th
ORL 92
UTA 98
 
3rd
CLE 67
BRK 67
 
4th
BOS 83
MIN 77
 
3rd
DET 61
TOR 78
 
3rd
MIA 75
WAS 71
 
Half
MEM 43
CHI 51
 
Half
SAN 46
POR 44
 
1st
DEN 2
LAC 4
 
10:30pm Tonight
LAL
OKC
Final
YOUNG 92
WILB 71
 
Final
TULA 56
JST 49
 
Final
RAD 76
SIENA 66
 
Final
BUCK 88
CASEWEST 65
 
Final
LIB 94
CPNC 65
 
Final
SCAR 68
CLEM 45
 
Final
CMICH 97
CONC 60
 
Final
MIAMI 44
EKENT 72
 
Final
GWEBB 91
HIWASSEE 71
 
Final
ODU 60
MDES 43
 
Final
BUF 88
NIAG 62
 
Final
KSU 71
NCAT 57
 
Final
FAM 65
UNF 83
 
Final
NORST 81
NARZ 62
 
Final
DART 58
NILL 55
 
Final
MORE 60
NKENTUCKY 83
 
Final
UCSB 69
SDCHR 46
 
2nd
STJ 52
GAELS 47
 
Final
ALA 69
STILL 49
 
Final
HAMP 66
TENST 54
 
Final
TENN 61
TENT 58
 
Final
WMARY 86
WSHMD 46
 
2nd
MERC 59
COOK 40
 
2nd
FLGC 67
FUR 54
 
2nd
CALST 49
SDKST 51
 
2nd
MTST 31
CHAT 26
 
2nd
NDAK 42
DICKINSON 22
 
2nd
LAMON 43
LSUALEX 42
 
2nd
PRIN 55
LIP 42
 
2nd
LAM 55
MLGN 31
 
Half
MINN 43
SEAT 21
 
2nd
LOYC 50
SUTAH 34
 
2nd
SELA 56
WINT 41
 
2nd
SILL 36
NO 27
 
1st
MARQ 14
ALAAM 5
 
1st
TTU 0
ARKPB 0
 
1st
DEN 13
COLST 10
 
1st
CREI 12
TXPA 5
 
10:00pm Tonight
CAL
EWASH
10:05pm Tonight
UTST
IDST
 
11:00pm Tonight
UTEP
ARZ
11:59pm Tonight
CHAM
HAW
 
3rd
NJD 2
TAM 1
 
2nd Intermission
OTT 4
ANA 1
 
2nd Intermission
DET 1
NYI 2
 
2nd
WIN 1
BOS 1
 
1st
CAL 0
DAL 0