By MATT DEARMAN
Tech basketball stumbled down the conference ladder last
week, losing road games to San Jose State by a score of 53-50 on Thursday and
to the University of Hawaii 74-50 on Saturday to fall to 7-17 on the year.
The Bulldogs now sit in seventh place in the Western
Athletic Conference, with a conference record of 5-7.
Against the Warriors (14-10, 5-6 WAC) in Honolulu on
Saturday, Tech shot a dismal 28.8 percent from the field on the night,
including 23.7 percent in the second half.
“First of all, I want to give all credit in the world to
Hawaii for shooting the lights out,” Tech head coach Keith Richard said.
“They made all kinds of shots. Whether we were in
man-to-man or in zone defense, they found a way to score, even with contested
The offensive struggle also carried over to the free
Tech made just six of 13 free throw attempts in the game.
Trey McDowell was the only Bulldog in double figures on
the night, leading the team with 18 points.
Hawaii, on the other hand, had three players with over 15
points in the game.
They also shot 53.2 percent from the field as a team.
“We did play really hard tonight,” Richard said. “Even in
the loss, I thought we played hard. But you can’t play at their tempo. We wound
up losing track of the scout and getting away from our game plan.”
Tech never led in the game, as the Warriors jumped on top
early and slowly added to their lead off solid shooting from beyond the
three-point arch, where the connected with nine threes in the first twenty
minutes to go into halftime on top 40-28.
The lead continued to increase in the second half, as
poor shooting would keep the Bulldogs from ever pulling within 10 points of the
lead for the remainder of the night as Hawaii would cruise to the 24-point
Prior to the loss at Hawaii, Tech was edged at San Jose
State (4-10, 3-9 WAC), as the Spartans were able to capitalize on early Bulldog
miscues and hold off a second-half rally to claim the 53-50 win.
Tech started off the night cold offensively, shooting
just 23.1 percent in the opening half to find themselves trailing 24-13 at the
“I don’t know what happened to us offensively,” Richard
said. “The first half was brutal. We did a good job of crawling back in it and
making defensive plays in the second half.”
The Bulldogs fought their way back into the game in the
second half, ultimately taking over the lead at 46-45 with just under four
minutes left to play.
Despite battling back, the early deficit had left the
door open for the Spartans as San Jose State rallied back to regain control 43
SJSU would be able to hang onto the lead down the
stretch, as a missed three-point attempt from Tech’s Chad McKenzie at the final
buzzer secured the win for the Spartans.
McKenzie led the Bulldogs offensively in the contest with
McDowell was the only other Bulldog in double figures
with 10 points.
McDowell also recorded a game-high four steals, as Tech
compiled 10 steals in the game.
Following a home meeting with Idaho in Ruston last night,
the Bulldogs will look to gain momentum in a non-conference meeting with
Southeast Missouri State in Cape Girardeau, Missouri on Saturday.
Then they will return home for a pair of conference games
against Fresno State and Utah State next week in the Thomas Assembly Center.
The Bulldogs will close out the regular season at New
Mexico State March 1 before competing in the WAC tournament in Las Cruces, New
Mexico, beginning March 6.