Louisiana Tech vs Georgia

Louisiana Tech holds off Georgia, 79-71, in NIT

By CHARLES ODUM
AP Sports Writer
  •  

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) Louisiana Tech was so dominant in the first 13 minutes against Georgia on Saturday that its biggest challenge became avoiding tentative play.

It was a pleasant dilemma that Louisiana Tech overcame, though not without a late scare.

Alex Hamilton scored 20 points and Louisiana Tech led by 26 points in the first half before holding off a late Georgia comeback for a 79-71 victory in the second round of the NIT.

The Bulldogs from Louisiana Tech used pressure defense - full-court and half-court - to cause turnovers that helped create a flurry of transition baskets and 3-pointers. The Bulldogs from Georgia never led.

''We were, I guess, in a great rhythm at doing what we do best, creating turnovers and turning those turnovers into points,'' Louisiana Tech coach Michael White said. ''In the open floor we got decent looks. ... The early turnovers allowed us to play in the open floor, allowed us open jumpers and got us a lead that we were able to hold the entire game.''

Louisiana Tech (29-7) made seven of its first eight 3-point attempts while taking a 39-13 lead. The key was 10 first-half steals. Georgia's 13 first-half turnovers led to 16 points for the visiting Bulldogs.

Louisiana Tech led 46-27 at halftime and then faltered when it tried to sit on the lead.

''You preach don't get tentative and at times I thought we got tentative,'' White said. ''...We were watching that clock probably a little too much and we're not at our best when we're doing that, which makes us have to score against a set (defense). That's not our strength, as compared to playing with the open floor.''

Georgia (20-14) regained its offensive composure in the second half, when Louisiana Tech managed only one point off six turnovers.

Georgia cut the lead to 72-66 with 1:08 remaining. Georgia's J.J. Frazier, who had 15 points, made a 3-pointer to cut the lead to 75-71. The comeback ended there.

Louisiana Tech will play the winner of Monday's Georgetown-Florida State game in the quarterfinals.

Chris Anderson scored 18 points, Cordarius Johnson added 16 and Kenyon McNeail had 14 for Louisiana Tech.

Charles Mann had 13 points and seven turnovers for Georgia.

''I just didn't play well,'' Mann said. ''I didn't take care of the ball at the beginning at all. I've just got to do a better job at that.''

Georgia overcame a season-high 22 turnovers by closing its 63-56 NIT opening-round win over Vermont with a 14-2 run. The Bulldogs' again had ball-handling problems as Louisiana Tech's pressure was too much to overcome.

''Obviously we had a terrible start and dug such a big hole we just couldn't get all the way out of it,'' Georgia coach Mark Fox said. ''I thought we made a lot of mental errors in the first half and those are very costly because Louisiana Tech has a good team and good teams make you pay for your mistakes.''

White said Georgia's turnovers against Vermont ''definitely'' influenced his plan to turn up the defensive pressure.

''First of all, that's what we do,'' White said. ''That's our strength. We're always going to play to our strength. ... We were eager to get back to playing more with our defensive identity. ... The full-court and the half-court pressure were as important as they've been all year.''

Copyright 2016 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre

Related Video

 

CBSSports Shop

Men's Nike White Villanova Wildcats 2016 NCAA Men's Basketball National Champions Locker Room T-Shirt

Villanova Wildcats 2016 National Champs
Get the Locker Room Gear!
Shop Now

Conference USA
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
UAB16-226-783
Middle Tenn.13-525-1078
La. Tech12-623-9122
Old Dominion12-622-13140
Marshall12-617-16128
UTEP10-819-14214
Charlotte9-914-19234
Western Ky.8-1018-16158
FIU7-1113-19270
North Texas7-1112-20295
Rice7-1112-20279
So. Miss5-138-21315
FAU5-138-25300
UT-San Antonio3-155-27347

Southeastern
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Texas A&M13-528-918
Kentucky13-527-911
S. Carolina11-725-965
LSU11-719-1494
Vanderbilt11-719-1463
Ole Miss10-820-1297
Georgia10-820-1462
Florida9-921-1555
Arkansas9-916-16133
Alabama8-1018-1573
Miss. State7-1114-17152
Tennessee6-1215-19145
Auburn5-1311-20175
Missouri3-1510-21223
 
Other games
MER 78 Final
DUKE 71
NEB 60 Final
BAYL 74
STAN 58 Final
NMEX 53
WEBER 59 Final
ARIZ 68
TENN 86 Final
MASS 67
ULL 66 Final
CREI 76
EKY 69 Final
KAN 80
OKST 77 Final
GONZ 85
GW 66 Final
MEMP 71
PROV 77 Final
UNC 79
CP 37 Final
WICH 64
SFA 77 Final
VCU 75
COCAR 59 Final
UVA 70
KSU 49 Final
UK 56
NCC 75 Final
IAST 93
TULSA 59 Final
UCLA 76