RTC Live: Louisiana Tech @ Utah StatePosted by rtmsf on February 17th, 2010
If you’ve been following the WAC all season then you know this is the game we have been waiting for. Louisiana Tech came into the conference season with just two losses against a pretty weak schedule and there were questions about just how good they were. They answered those questions with an opening weekend sweep of the old guard in the WAC, beating Nevada by six and then smoking Utah State by 22. Since then, the Bulldogs have slowed down a little, but still come into tonight’s rematch in third place in the WAC, sporting an 8-3 conference record. Meanwhile the USU Aggies came out of that weekend with their tails tucked between their legs, getting edged by New Mexico State followed by the aforementioned beatdown from Louisiana Tech. Since that January 4 matchup, however, the Aggies have yet to lose, running off ten straight victories with eight of them coming by double digits. The key to the earlier meeting in Ruston was Louisiana Tech’s defense. The Aggies shot a miserable 3-13 behind the arc, something they usually excel at (currentl second in the nation in 3pt% at 43% and an even better 46% in WAC play). For the Aggies the key will be getting good inside play, especially from leader Tai Wesley going against the WAC’s best defensive big man in Magnum Rolle, and they will need to keep shooting well from behind the arc to take the pressure off the big guys (look for Brian Green shooting a blistering 71% from deep in conference games). The Bulldogs will need Rolle to control the boards and get someone besides Kyle Gibson (averaging 21 pts a game) and Rolle (just under 15 pts a game) to contribute to the scoring load (Jamel Guyton had 17 in the first matchup between these two). A win for the Bulldogs would put them right back into the thick of things for the conference title, but a loss would all but eliminate them from the race. Can the Bulldogs pull the upset in front of 10,270 screaming Aggie fans? Stay up late and tune into ESPN2 tonight at 9 pm (MST) and follow along to find out.