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Courtesy: Mark Wagner
UALR held Louisiana Tech to just 36.2 percent shooting in Monday's loss.
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Bulldogs Hand Trojans First Home Loss of Season, 75-73
UALR Sports Information
Release: 12/17/2012

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UALR MBB Highlights vs. Louisiana Tech (Dec. 17, 2012)

LITTLE ROCK - Louisiana Tech (9-3) made up for a 7-for-26 effort (26.9 percent) from the field in the second half by knocking down 20-of-25 free throws over the final 20 minutes to hand UALR (8-5) its first home loss of the season Monday night at the Jack Stephens Center. The Bulldogs finished the game shooting just 36.2 percent from the field (21-of-58) and 29.2 percent from long range (7-of-24) but parlayed 19 offensive rebounds into a 20-3 advantage in second-chance points.

"You've got give Louisiana Tech credit. They're a good basketball team," said head coach Steve Shields. "I thought we did an excellent job in the first half of valuing the basketball. But we're still not rebounding the ball like we have to, and I thought that was the difference in the game."

After leading most of the second half, UALR found itself down two with 17 seconds remaining after Louisiana Tech's Raheem Appleby knocked down one of two foul shots. The Trojans held the ball for the final shot, as freshman John Gillon got into the lane and fed classmate James White along the baseline, who was fouled on his way to the rim with 1.2 ticks left. Needing to make both to force overtime, White's first free throw rimmed out and he was forced to intentionally miss the second after a UALR timeout. Freshman Josh Hagins corralled White's miss, but his putback attempt as time expired fell short as the Trojans' had their eight-game winning streak dating back to the end of last season snapped.

Appleby led all scorers with 17 points on 6-of-14 shooting, and teammate Alex Hamilton scored 14 on a 5-of-8 effort from the field. Michale Kyser led the Bulldogs with 10 rebounds on the night.

Gillon led UALR with 15 points on 5-of-10 shooting from the field and a perfect 4-of-4 effort from the line. Junior Leroy Isler chipped in with 11 points, and sophomore Taggart Lockhart scored nine on 4-of-6 shooting. Hagins scored eight points and collected four assists, while sophomore Michael Javes led the Trojans' with seven rebounds on the night.

UALR finished the night shooting 44.6 percent from the floor (25-of-56) and 72.0 percent from the foul line (18-of-25), but couldn't overcome a -12 margin on the boards and the Bulldogs' +17 advantage in second-chance points.

After turning it over 19 times in Ruston on Nov. 14, UALR played a much more controlled game Monday night despite turning it over 17 times - 13 of which came after halftime. The Trojans forced the Bulldogs into 17 turnovers as well, and led 20-12 in points off turnovers.  

The Bulldogs jumped out to an early lead at the start, going up as many as nine in the first half after Cordarius Johnson scored on a putback to make it 16-7 with just under 13 minutes remaining. But the Trojans slowly worked their way back into it, tying the game at 24-all on a jumper by Isler and taking its first lead of the game on a bucket by White shortly thereafter. Hagins' three pointer with just under a minute and a half left in the first half put the Trojans up six, but five-straight points by the Bulldogs made it a one-point game before a lay-in by Gillon made it 42-39 heading into the half.

The Trojans' lead reached as high as six again at the 15:16 mark following another field goal by Gillon, but Louisiana Tech got their deficit back to one when Kyser hit a freebie with 10:15 left. Two more free throws by Kyser gave the Bulldogs their first lead of the second half, 57-56, and from there the lead would change four more times before the Louisiana Tech went up for good on a trey by Kenyon McNeail that made it 72-69 with 2:17 remaining.

UALR returns to action when it resumes conference play at South Alabama on Saturday, Dec. 22. Tip-off is set for 2:05 p.m.

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