Arkansas-Little Rock (1-0) at Louisiana Tech (0-1)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, November 14, 8 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Thomas Assembly Center (8,000) -- Ruston, Louisiana. Television: None. Home Record: Arkansas-Little Rock 1-0, Louisiana Tech 0-0. Away Record: Arkansas-Little Rock 0-0, Louisiana Tech 0-1. Neutral Record: Arkansas-Little Rock 0-0, Louisiana Tech 0-0. Conference Record: Arkansas Little Rock 0-0, Louisiana Tech 0-0. Series Record: Louisiana Tech leads 25-13.
GAMES NOTES: Looking to rebound from a loss in its season opener, Louisiana Tech will play host to the Arkansas-Little Rock Trojans on Wednesday in a non-conference affair at the Thomas Assembly Center.
The Trojans got their first win of the season out of way early with an 84-68 win at home over Tennesee-Martin in its season opener. The Trojans won their 13th straight home opener in the win. Arkansas-Little Rock will also be on the road in its next game against Ole Miss before beginning play in the Hoops for Hope Classic next Monday.
Louisiana Tech fell in a 71-59 decision on the road versus Texas A&M in its season opener. Returning home should be a boost for the Bulldogs who are 22-0 in non-conference games in the last five seasons at the Thomas Assembly Center. Up next for Louisiana Tech is a matchup with Troy as part of the CBE Hall of Fame Classic.
This will be the sixth straight season that the Bulldogs and Trojans will meet up and the 39th time overall. In those previous contests Louisiana Tech has won more than twice as many games as Arkansas-Little Rock (25-13) including a 71-68 win last season which was also at the Thomas Assembly Center.
In what was a tighter game than the final score may have indicated, but Arkansas Little Rock was able to outlast Tennessee-Martin by executing more efficiently on offense. The Trojans connected on 45.9 percent of their shots in the game and held slight edges in points from the free throw line (22-21) and from beyond the arc (18-15).
Although he wasn't the lead scorer in the game, Will Neighbour lived up to his Preseason First Team All-Sun Belt selection by posting a 13-point, 13 rebound double-double. It was the first double-double of his career. Neighbour is the team's leading returning scorer and rebounder a season ago (10.5 ppg, 5.3 rpg). The Trojans got a great deal of production out of freshman off the bench in the opener. John Gillon dumped in 22 points and James White finished with 18 all as reserves. Also in double figures was sophomore Taggart Lockhart (!0 points), who will be a regular in the starting lineup after starting in 14 games a season ago. Also making his debut as a regular starter was Ben Dillard, who scored nine points and handed out a pair of assists while running the point for the Trojans.
Raheem Appleby quickly reclaimed his spot as the Bulldogs' leading scorer in the opener by scoring 20 points, while also grabbing four rebounds. Appleby was not quite so productive last season but still checked in at a solid 13.9 points per game pace. Brandon Gibson made great use of the 19 minutes he played by scoring 13 points against Texas A&M. However Gibson, who led the team in rebounding last season (4.6 pg) was unable to produce on the boards with only a pair of rebounds. Cordarius Jackson also got into double figures in the loss to Texas A&M with 10 points exactly. That type of production is exactly what the Bulldogs came to expect last season when he averaged 9.6 points per game. Juco transfer Jaron Johnson scored seven points and had four rebounds off the bench after scoring 13.2 points and hauling in 6.6 rebounds per game last season.
Homecourt advantage is not something to be taken lightly in the world of college basketball. With how well the Bulldogs play at the Thomas Assembly Center a bounce-back win should be in the cards.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Louisiana Tech 73, Arkansas-Little Rock 67
11/14 11:28:54 ET