Home » Men’s college basketball: Louisiana Tech rally falls short against Sam Houston

Men’s college basketball: Louisiana Tech rally falls short against Sam Houston

by Russell Hedges

By Kane McGuire, Louisiana Tech Associate Athletic Director/Strategic Communications

RUSTON — Louisiana Tech made a late run in the final five minutes, but its comeback effort fell short in a 72-66 loss to Sam Houston on Thursday night inside the Thomas Assembly Center on Karl Malone Court.

LA Tech (21-9, 11-4 CUSA) found itself down by 18 to Sam Houston (19-11, 12-3 CUSA) with 5:07 to go in the contest. 

Up until that point, not much had gone right for the Bulldogs. Offensively, they were shooting just 36.7 percent from the field until five minutes to play. Threes were not falling (tied a season low with three triples). Free throws were not falling (missed seven of their first 12 attempts). Meanwhile, the Bearkats were winning the battle of the boards and hitting timely threes.

The visiting team missed 17 of their first 20 attempts from beyond the arc, but they had a stretch in the second half where they made five of eight triples. One of those was by Anthony Wrzeszcz, which made it a 65-47 advantage for the Bearkats.

LA Tech did not lay down though. The Bulldogs went on a 17-2 run, making seven straight field goals in the process from five different players. It was Daniel Batcho who started the run with a made layup and capped the run with a dunk to bring the ‘Dogs to within one possession, down 67-64, with still 1:23 to play.

Needing to get one more defensive stop to have a chance to tie the thing, the Bearkats were able to take advantage of fouls called, which sent them to the free throw line. Sam Houston did not take a single field goal attempt in the final 2:45 of the game. Instead, they put the game out of reach from the charity stripe, knocking down seven of their last nine free throw attempts.

Neither team could pull away early as a two-point lead was the largest for either side through the first 13 minutes of the contest. Sam Houston made the first run of the game, scoring seven straight points, never trailing from there.

Batcho ended up scoring a game-high 20 points to go along with a game-high nine rebounds.  Isaiah Crawford netted 16 points, plus two steals and three blocks on the defensive end.  Tahlik Chavez was the third Bulldog in double figures with 12.

The Bearkats also had three players score double-digit points, led by Jaden Ray who came off the bench to tally 14 points to go along with six rebounds, and eight assists.

Head coach Talvin Hester

On the loss …
“Our fight in each half was different. I think their physicality put us in a place where we have not really been. We did things uncharacteristically like not rebound. In the first half, we gave up nine offensive rebounds. Come second half, we put up a big fight which gave us a chance. Then it comes down to the little things at that point. All those little things that we did not do, coupled with the deficit we put ourselves in, made it too hard to come back. We have to go back to the drawing board. We have a game on Saturday. We will try to end the season on the right note and then get ready for the tournament.”

On the locker room message after the game …
“How we are going to be defined is how we come out of this. We still have a lot to play for. We still have good players and a good basketball team. We just have to go back to being 1-0. We were 0-1 tonight. We have to get back on track.”

On the late run to get back into the game …
“We are fighters. I believe wholeheartedly that this team is going to compete until the buzzer sounds. My coaching staff is going to coach until the final buzzer. We got it to within and guys were saying that we still had a lot of time left. Next thing you know, you look up and it is a one-possession game.”

Forward Isaiah Crawford

On what was the difference in the first half …
“I think our focus and mentality was not that good in the first half. The second half was a lot better. We told ourselves we had to pick it up.”

On the rebounding …
“They were being physical. When they missed shots, everybody went to crash.”

On what was starting to click late …
“We woke up. We were getting to the rim, drawing fouls. And we were getting multiple stops.” 


  • With the loss, LA Tech now leads the all-time series versus Sam Houston, 5-4. The Bulldogs have now dropped three straight to the Bearkats. 
  • LA Tech registered six blocks in the game. They now have 154 blocks on the season and have recorded at least five blocks in a single game 17 times (eight times in the last nine games).
  • The Bulldogs tied their season low with just three made three-pointers.
  • Daniel Batcho tallied a game-high 20 points on 9-of-11 shooting. It marked his fifth 20-point scoring game of the season.
  • Daneil Batcho had a game-high nine rebounds, marking the 18th time this season he has led the Bulldogs in rebounds in a single game.
  • Isaiah Crawford scored 16 points, extending his streak of games with double-digit points to 10 (has scored double-digit points in 19 of the last 20 games). 
  • Tahlik Chavez posted 12 points, marking the 19th time this season recording at least 10 in a single game.
  • Daniel Batcho registered three blocks, marking the 13th time this season with at least three rejections in a single game. He now has 63 blocks on the season, the 11th most in a single season in program history.
  • Isaiah Crawford tallied three blocks as well, marking the ninth time this season with at least three rejections. He now has 100 blocks for his career, becoming just the seventh Bulldog in program history to reach that milestone. His 53 blocks this season ranks as the 15th most in program history.
  • Isaiah Crawford also had two steals, giving him 64 for the season which is the sixth most in program history.
  • Sean Newman Jr. had five assists, marking the 17th time this season with at least five dimes in a single game.

LA Tech will close out the regular season on Saturday, March 9 when the Bulldogs host Middle Tennessee on Senior Day. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m. CT and will be broadcast on ESPN+.

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