Date: Thursday, January 11th
Time: 8:00 PM. CT
Match-up: Middle Tennessee (11-4, 3-0) vs. Louisiana Tech (10-7, 1-3)
Location: Murfreesboro, Tenn. | Murphy Center
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Coming off three consecutive road wins in Conference USA and a month of games away from home, Middle Tennessee men’s basketball head coach Kermit Davis said he believes he team needs to get back home. On Thursday, his team returns to the friendly confines of the Murphy Center to host Louisiana Tech.
The Blue Raiders (11-4, 3-0) remain the only team in the NCAA with seven true road wins (7-0) after their 61-57 triumph over Florida Atlantic. MT also looks to go 4-0 in conference play for the second consecutive year after winning their first 10 conference games last season.
Meanwhile, the Bulldogs (10-7, 1-3) secured their first conference victory last Saturday over UTEP, 97-88, after staring 0-3 in C-USA play.
Senior forward Nick King has been a dominant scorer all season, but has amped up his rebounding efforts after posting back-to-back double-doubles against both FIU (17 points and 10 rebounds) and FAU (16 and 11). In his last five games King has averaged 9.6 rebounds per night.
“I’ve always felt like I’m a great rebounder, but I’ve been trying to be more aggressive and trying to pursue the ball more on the offensive boards,” King said. “It’s big for the team because it gives us more opportunities, more second chances and longer possessions.”
The Bulldogs will be without their leading scorer Jalen Harris who intends to sit the remainder of the season and transfer from the program. However, preseason All-Conference selections DaQuan Bracey and Jacobi Boykins still pose a large scoring threat.
Boykins, a senior guard, has started every game this season and averages 14.7 points and 5.2 rebounds per game. He also leads the conference in free throw percentage, shooting 58-of-62 (.935) from the charity stripe on the season.
Additionally, sophomore point guard DaQuan Bracey is eighth among qualified players in Conference USA in field goal percentage (.475). The Baltimore, Md., native is averaging 15.3 points and 5.1 assists per game, but did not play in the Bulldogs win against UTEP.
“They have some of the very best guards in the league that are very athletic and shoot the ball at a high percentage from three,” Davis said. “Obviously Boykins has been one of the very best players in our league for four years and there bigs against UTEP played much better, too. I think this will be a typical Middle Tennessee-LA Tech game.”
LA Tech owns the series lead between the two teams, but MT won their matchup last year 71-61 in the Murphy Center. Tip-off between the Blue Raiders and the Bulldogs is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. Thursday night on CBS Sports Network.