LA Tech falls Sunday at FIU, 83-76
Bulldogs Suffer Road Loss to Panthers
MIAMI – It was a one-possession game between Louisiana Tech and FIU with four minutes to go, but the Bulldogs ended up falling 83-76 to the Panthers on Sunday afternoon inside the Ocean Bank Convocation Center.
The ending was much like the previous time these two teams hooked up only a month ago in Miami as LA Tech (18-12, 8-9 C-USA) was down only one at 73-72. Then down the stretch, FIU (18-11, 9-7 C-USA) went on a 10-4 run the rest of the way.
Those 10 points came from the paint and at the foul line which is where almost all of their points came from. The Panthers outscored the Bulldogs 40-24 in the paint and attempted almost twice as many free throws, going 20-of-29 while the visitors were 13-of-16.
“We had a hard time defending them today,” head coach Eric Konkol said. “They made some timely threes. There were stretches where we did a solid job of limiting their threes, but the points at the line and the points in the paint really hurt us today.”
FIU took advantage of DaQuan Bracey being in foul trouble in the first half (had zero points and three fouls in eight minutes) to hold a 38-34 halftime edge, going on a big 12-0 run to make that happen.
“It was a challenging first half with the type of foul trouble we experienced,” Konkol added. “This was a game where we really needed guard play in order to handle their pressure. We were able to stem the tide enough and be within four points still.”
Stepping up offensively to keep the ‘Dogs in it was Amorie Archibald who made all four of his three-point attempts in the first stanza. He tacked on two more in the second half, reaching a career high in triples.
The sixth one was a big one as it came with 10:51 remaining to help give LA Tech its largest lead of the game at 62-55. After two more minutes of action, the Bulldogs were holding a five-point edge following back-to-back buckets from Stacey Thomas.
At that point, FIU made another big run, scoring 10 straight points to turn the table and hold the five-point margin. LA Tech would get to within one point, but the Panthers were able to get to the rim and convert from the charity stripe to maintain the lead.
A limited Bulldog squad ended up having four players with at least four fouls, totaling 21 as a team. Despite that, four players finished with double-digit points led by Archibald who had 20 (one shy of tying his career high).
“I think the fouls were huge,” Konkol said. “They were plus-seven with points at the free throw line. That’s the game. It was not only the points they got, but it was the foul trouble we experienced.”
JaColby Pemberton notched his fourth double-double of the season with 14 points and a team-high 10 rebounds. Bracey tallied 12 points in the second half after going scoreless in the first and Duruji added 10.
FIU’s Devon Andrews recorded a game-high 21 points, 12 of those coming from the free throw line.
LA Tech will wrap up its regular season on Wednesday, March 6 at Florida Atlantic. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. CT.
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