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Charlotte263965
Louisiana Tech365086
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86


Charlotte (17-13) vs. Louisiana Tech (25-6)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Thursday, March 13, 10:30 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Don Haskins Center (12,222) -- El Paso, Texas. Television: None. Home Record: Charlotte 10-5, LA Tech 13-1. Away Record: Charlotte 3-8, LA Tech 9-4. Neutral Record: Charlotte 4-0, LA Tech 3-1. Conference Record: Charlotte 7-9, LA Tech 13-3. Series Record: LA Tech leads, 1-0.

GAME NOTES: The top-seeded Louisiana Tech Bulldogs will make their Conference USA Tournament debut as they take on the ninth-seeded Charlotte 49ers in the quarterfinal round at the Don Haskins Center on Thursday.

The winner of this contest will advance to the semifinals to face either the tournament hosting Texas-El Paso Miners or No. 4 Southern Miss.

Charlotte was impressive in its second-round matchup versus UAB on Wednesday. The 49ers led from wire-to-wire and extended their advantage to as many as 23 before settling for an 80-70 victory. Charlotte, which was a charter member of Conference USA, returned to the league this season after spending the last eight years as a member of the Atlantic 10. Charlotte is 16-8 all-time in C- USA Tournament games and won the 1999 and 2001 C-USA Tournament titles to advance to the Big Dance. Coach Alan Major's squad now owns a 4-0 ledger at neutral sites, including notable upsets of Michigan and Kansas State en route to the Puerto Rico Tip- Off Tournament Championship.

The Bulldogs are hoping to avoid another early exit from their conference tourney as they were the top seed in the 2013 Western Athletic Conference Tournament, but lost their first postseason game to a ninth-seeded UTSA squad. LA Tech has not reached the NCAA Tournament since 1991 when it was a member of the American South. Coach Michael White's squad excelled in its inaugural season as a member of the C-USA as it upped its scoring offense (81.7 ppg) by 9.2 points and its scoring margin (16.0 ppg) by seven points.

This schools met for the first time in history on Jan. 23 in Ruston. LA Tech coasted to an 80-60 win over the 49ers to take a 1-0 all-time series lead.

Although five different 49ers scored in double figures and the team shot an even 50 percent from 3-point range, their star point guard Pierria Henry finished with only five points in 25 minutes of action. Charlotte thrived as sophomore guard Denzel Ingram the way with 18 points, junior Terrence Williams added 16 points and Shawn Lester chipped in 11 points. Charlotte still has plenty of reason to go to Henry down the stretch. The 6-foot-4 sophomore is the only player in the conference that averages double-figures points (12.3 ppg), at least five rebounds (5.1 rpg) and five assists (5.9) per game. For his efforts, Henry was named to the All-C-USA Defensive Team and the All-C-USA third-team. Lester is contributing 12 ppg, while shooting 42.3 percent from the field.

Junior floor general Kenneth Smith is not usually a big-time scorer (7.1 ppg) for the Bulldogs, but his strong defensive play and the C-USA's assist title (7.9 apg) landed him on the all-conference first team. Although LA Tech's Raheem Appleby (13.8 ppg) returned to the lineup for the final three games after missing 12 games due to injury, he clocked only 23 total minutes in those games. If Appleby returns to full health during the postseason, White's team will could be very dangerous beyond the C-USA Tournament. Alex Hamilton (14.5 ppg) and Chris Anderson (12 ppg, 5.6 rpg) had no trouble picking up the slack, but they will only benefit when Appleby fully returns and commands attention.

Henry will most likely struggle again as he collides with one of college basketball's best perimeter defenders. LA Tech has only one questionable loss on its resume through 31 games. The Bulldogs should be able to advance, although the 49ers have defeated teams with just as much talent as LA Tech already this season.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Louisiana Tech 75, Charlotte 70

03/13 10:34:14 ET

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Local
Final
CAR 4
TOR 1
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DUKE 66
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CHI 103
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HOU 90
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SAC 107
MIL 108
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GSW 114
OKC 109
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CHA
 
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TOR
 
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MEM
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SAN
POR
 
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DEN
LAC
 
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LAL
OKC
 
Final
RICE 72
STTHOMASTX 61
 
Final
UVA 70
CLST 54
Final
LIU 69
FIU 58
 
Final
STET 67
GSOUT 76
 
Final
QUIN 80
LEH 65
 
Final
SFLA 69
SHU 89
Final
RICH 65
SALA 54
Final
CAN 60
USB 59
 
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DEL 62
TEMPL 82
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WCU 56
WRST 69
 
Final
VERM 56
YALE 57
 
Final
SDKST 75
IDST 72
 
Final
RIDE 62
MRGST 48
 
Final
LATU 79
NICST 54
 
Final
CHAR 75
APP 65
Final
MISS 71
CCAR 68
 
Final
DUKE 66
UCONN 56
Final
BRAD 80
EUREK 38
 
Final
PEAY 76
OAKC 52
 
Final
JST 66
SMISS 46
 
Final
SD 55
MNTST 53
 
Final
UAB 70
LSU 79
Final
EVAN 81
OHIO 69
 
Final
CSFU 72
CSDH 50
 
Final
ORST 90
DEP 59
Final
PAC 69
NEV 65
Final
USF 77
PORST 40
 
Final
IDAHO 86
WALLA 39
 
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UTST 57
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PIT 1
COL 0
Final
PHI 1
FLA 2
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CAR 4
TOR 1
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CLB 4
WAS 5
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MON 1
ANA 2
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SJS 4
EDM 3
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LOS 6
STL 4
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OTT
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Final
JAC 21
TEN 13