GAME NOTES: The Louisiana Tech Bulldogs and the Flames of Illinois-Chicago get together in the second round of the inaugural Gulf Coast Showcase this evening at Germain Arena.
Since dropping the season opener to Saint Mary's by 13 points on the road, the Bulldogs have rattled off three consecutive victories. The latest win came on Monday afternoon against UNC Greensboro in a 99-62 blowout which means LaTech has now scored at least 94 points in three straight contests.
As for the Flames, they landed in Florida with only one win to their credit, but the squad sized up an undefeated San Diego program and came away with a 74-70 victory. The decision snapped a two-game slide by UIC and was the first of the season against another Division I foe.
As far as an all-time series between the teams is concerned, the Flames won both meetings with Louisiana Tech back in 1997-98.
Both teams will be back in action on Wednesday in the final round of the tournament, with the winner aiming for the title.
Kelsey Barlow shot a miserable 3-of-13 from the field, including 1-of-7 behind the 3-point line on Monday, but he still ended up with a team-best 17 points as the Flames slipped by San Diego by four points. Barlow knocked down 10- of-13 at the free-throw line, the team as a whole connecting on 22-of-31, with Marc Brown (13 points) hitting all but one of his eight tries. Gabe Snider and Jake Wiegand pitched in with 11 points apiece, the latter also pulling down a game-high 10 rebounds.
Brown accounts for about one-fourth of the team's 68.8 ppg at the moment with his 17.0 ppg, stemming from 50.9 percent shooting from the field. The only other double-digit scorer is Barlow with his 12.2 ppg, and in his case he has made good on just 33.3 percent from the floor, but his 26 assists and nine steals make it necessary for him to be in on the action as much as possible.
Not only did the Bulldogs shoot an impressive 63.2 percent from the field in their meeting with UNCG on Monday, they also converted 14-of-25 shots beyond the arc, outscoring the Spartans on the perimeter by 21 points in the process. Alex Hamilton led the way with 26 points, connecting on 10-of-12 from the floor, followed by Chris Anderson who posted 18 points off the bench and 15 from fellow reserve Kenyon McNeail. Cordarius Johnson and Jaron Johnson pitched in with 11 and 10 points, respectively, as the team overcame 18 turnovers.
Hamilton is responsible for 15.0 ppg, one of five scoring in double figures at the moment for the Bulldogs. a 63.6 percent shooter from the field, Hamilton is also toed for the team lead in assists with 21, while his 10 steals are at the top of the list as well. Michale Kyser (5.8 ppg) may not pack much of a scoring punch yet, but his inside presence has accounted for 6.3 rpg and a team-high 20 blocked shots.
The Bulldogs have talent up and down the roster, with some of the better performers coming off the bench, which means a team like UIC will have a tough time fielding comparable athletes for a full 40 minutes.
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