Tech claims C-USA title with win over Rice, 70-48 - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Tech claims C-USA title with win over Rice, 70-48

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Picture courtesy: Tommy McClelland Picture courtesy: Tommy McClelland
HOUSTON, TX -

Make it another 25-win season and another conference regular season championship for Louisiana Tech.

Jaron Johnson and Chris Anderson combined for 33 points in leading the Bulldogs to a 70-48 victory over the Rice Owls on Thursday night inside Tudor Fieldhouse.

The win marked only the second time in program history that LA Tech (25-6, 13-3 C-USA) has posted back-to-back 25-win seasons and the first time since 1986-88 that the Bulldogs take home back-to-back regular season conference titles.

J. Johnson came out hot for the ‘Dogs, scoring seven of the team's first 13 points.  With the Bulldogs clinging to a 13-10, Alex Hamilton delivered an alley-oop pass to Chris Anderson for the slam.

Anderson then stepped behind the arc to knock down back-to-back three pointers to help push the lead to 23-14 with 8:34 to go in the first stanza.

LA Tech then went dead cold, missing their next nine shots.  It was not until J. Johnson connected for a three-pointer from the wing that snapped the cold shooting.

J. Johnson added one more three ball to give him 13 points already, but LA Tech was only able to have a 29-22 lead at halftime despite taking 12 more shots and pulling down 10 offensive rebounds. 

Anderson was feeling it at the start of the second half, scoring nine straight points.  The senior was forced to go out with his third foul, but it did not matter as the Bulldog defense clamped down on Rice (7-22, 2-14 C-USA).

The Owls went scoreless for almost six minutes while LA Tech went on a 13-0 run to extend its advantage to 49-27 with 11:49 to go.

The next basket for the ‘Dogs was a special one as Raheem Appleby went baseline and sank a six-foot jumper, his first points since returning three games ago after an ankle injury sidelined him for seven weeks.

LA Tech now waits on the other conference games to determined its seeding for the Conference USA Tournament to be held at the Don Haskins Center in El Paso, Texas from March 11-15.

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