BOCA RATON, Florida – Louisiana Tech trailed for the majority of the game while creating multiple opportunities to either tie or take the lead, but the Bulldogs could never pull ahead as they came up short to Florida Atlantic by a final score of 69-61 on Thursday night inside FAU Arena.
Once again, LA Tech (15-8, 5-5 C-USA) played well enough defensively to win the game as they limited FAU (13-9, 4-5 C-USA) to just 36 percent shooting on 20 made field goals.
The Bulldogs made the same number of field goals. The difference in the game ended up being free throws as the Owls attempted 30 of them and made 24 while the Bulldogs made 12 free throws on 18 attempts from the foul line.
“There were moments in the game, mostly on the offensive end, where we have to be able to find the right shot,” head coach Eric Konkol said. “I thought at times we got those looks and then there were other times we didn’t. We had opportunities. We just were not able to cash in.”
Despite making just one of their last 10 field goals in the first half, the Bulldogs found themselves down just 28-23 at the midway point.
LA Tech managed to keep its deficit to single digits for the entirety of the second half. And there were six different occasions that the ‘Dogs pulled to within one possession. Three of those times came following an Amorie Archibald three-pointer.
The sophomore guard and Florida native was the hottest shooter for LA Tech, hitting a career-tying five triples while scoring a team-high 18 points.
The best opportunity though to take the lead came when they pulled to within one point at 57-56 after a driving floater by DaQuan Bracey with 3:01 to go in the second half.
However, the Bulldogs would misfire on six of their seven field goal attempts the rest of the way. Meanwhile, FAU closed out the game on a 12-4 run with its final eight points coming at the charity stripe.
LA Tech shot 35 percent from the field. Nine of its 20 made shots came from beyond the arc as the ‘Dogs were held to a season-low 16 paint points. Two other players joined Archibald in double figures – Bracey with 14 and Oliver Powell with 10.
For FAU, the 20 made FGs tied a season low. It was also just the third time this season the Owls made only three-pointers or less. Their leading scorer Anthony Adger shot 1-of-10 from the field, but he ended up with 14 points with 11 of those coming at the foul line. He was one of four Owls in double figures.
“I thought our effort was what it has been and what it needs to be,” said Konkol. “We put them on the foul line a lot, several of those being late in the game when we were trying to get back into it. I thought there were a lot of contested shots.”