Louisiana Tech (1-1) vs. Troy (1-1)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Sunday, November 18, 5:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: McKenzie Arena (11,218) -- Chattanooga, Tennessee. Television: None. Home Record: LaTech 1-0, Troy 1-0. Away Record: LaTech 0-1, Troy 0-1. Neutral Record: LaTech 0-0, Troy 0-0. Conference Record: LaTech 0-0, Troy 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The first-ever meeting between the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs and the Troy Trojans takes place on Sunday evening in Chattanooga Tennessee as part of the CBE Hall of Fame Classic.
Both of these teams enter this contest with a split of their first two games. In the case of the Bulldogs, they first were defeated by Texas A&M on the road on Nov. 9 in a 71-59 final. This past Wednesday, the team leveled off with a 70-52 victory over the Trojans of Arkansas-Little Rock, not to be mistaken for the Trojans from Troy who also just happen to play in the Sun Belt Conference these days.
As for Troy, it too lost to the Aggies of A&M, that setback of 83-65 coming on Monday night. Three days prior the Trojans tipped off the 2012-13 campaign with a narrow 56-53 triumph versus Mississippi State a home in Alabama.
Both teams will be back in action over the next couple of days as they square off against the other two programs in this region, Southeast Missouri State and host Chattanooga.
LaTech shot just 34.5 percent from the floor in the first half against UALR in the last outing, but that was still way beyond the mere 7-of-31 (.226) effort put forth by those Trojans, en route to the 18-point decision. Nevertheless, had it been a different opponent, more than likely the Bulldogs would not have been able to get away with only 36.1 percent from the field overall, including a miserable 4-of-21 showing behind the three-point line. Cordarius Johnson finished with a team-best 17 points as he sank 7-of-11 shots from the field, followed by Brandon Gibson who got by with a mere 2-of-10 showing as he contributed 10 points. Through two games scoring has been rather moderate for the Bulldogs as they average 64.5 ppg, but that's still no excuse for their awful 35.9 percent shooting in the early going. From three-point range LaTech is simply atrocious, connecting on only 10-of-43 (.233), thanks mostly to Johnson (13.5 ppg) and Gibson (11.5 ppg) who have combined for 7-of-22 out on the perimeter.
Troy actually led by three points early on against Texas A&M, the game experiencing six ties and seven lead changes, but clearly the outcome was already in the hands of the Aggies by the break. One of the problems for the Trojans was that they were outscored at the free-throw line by an 18-4 margin, the visitors failing to get to the stripe even a single time in the second half. It also didn't help that the Trojans were beaten on the glass, 35-22, either. Hunter Williams emerged as the top scorer for Troy with 15 points on 5-of-9 shooting behind the three-point line, while Ray Chambers tacked on 10 points, but no one else on the unit managed to make more than three baskets. Williams is the top scorer for the team after two games, his 12.5 ppg being fueled by his 7-of-13 showing on the perimeter while Tevin Calhoun accounts for another 10.0 ppg as he too has found a comfortable zone beyond the arc where he's made good on 6-of-14 shots.
With Raheem Appleby also a critical piece of the puzzle for the Bulldogs who seems to be lurking in the shadows at the moment, expect to see LaTech have their way with the Trojans in this meeting.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Louisiana Tech 69, Troy 61
11/18 10:40:30 ET