Louisiana Tech (3-1) vs. Navy (1-3)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, November 20th, 8:00 p.m. (et).
FACTS & STATS: Site: Bren Events Center (5,000) -- Irvine, California. Television: None. Home Record: LaTech 2-0, Navy 1-0. Away Record: LaTech 0-1, Navy 0-3. Neutral Record: LaTech 1-0, Navy 0-0. Conference Record: LaTech 0-0, Navy 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: A couple of programs heading in different directions clash on the hardwood tonight, as the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs and the Navy Midshipmen meet in the next round of the 2K Sports Classic at the Bren Events Center in Irvine, California.
LaTech, which is taking on Navy for the first time ever, has bounced back from a season-opening loss to Texas at the Erwin Center in Austin by stringing together three consecutive victories. The most recent of those triumphs came on Friday night when the Bulldogs tangled with Seattle University and dispensed with the Redhawks in an 85-72 final.
As for the Midshipmen, they too tipped off their season against the Longhorns in the Lone Star State 12 days ago, suffering the 83-52 loss. After that, Navy dropped an 88-46 decision at Buffalo and then secured a 74-62 win versus Neumann on Tuesday night. Friday saw the Midshipmen falter in a 75-60 final versus host UC Irvine.
Olu Ashaolu registered a double-double with 22 points and 11 rebounds as he led the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs to an 85-72 win over the Seattle Redhawks in sub-regional action of the 2K Sports Classic at the Bren Events Center last night. DeAndre Brown added 18 points and seven assists for the Bulldogs, although he also turned the ball over seven times as well. Brandon Gibson and Kenyon McNeaill both tacked on 13 points apiece. Over the course of four games Ashaolu has stepped up to assume the leadership role in both scoring and rebounding for the Bulldogs with averages of 15.8 points and 10.3 boards per contest. Brown accounts for 13.8 ppg and a team-best 17 assists, but still it is hard to overlook the fact that he is shooting a mere 37.0 percent from the floor right now. Gibson's 11.8 ppg come at the expense of 38.6 percent shooting from the field and a mere 27.8 percent beyond the arc.
The Midshipmen were paced by Greg Brown who delivered a game-high 21 points, shooting 5-of-10 behind the three-point line on Friday night, but that still wasn't enough to keep the academy from falling into the loss column yet again in its 15-point setback to UC Irvine. Jordan Sugars made only 4-of-13 from the floor, all four of those conversions coming beyond the arc, as he tallied 12 points and added eight rebounds in the losing cause. Navy grabbed an early five-point lead in the first half, but with just 6-of-32 shooting from the floor in the period, including 3-of-15 out on the perimeter, the Midshipmen found themselves with a 33-17 deficit at the break and never recovered. Through four games Brown, who has started just two, remains the leading scorer for the group with his 14.0 ppg, even though he is shooting just 34.8 percent from the field. Sugars accounts for another 10.2 ppg and is second with 5.2 rpg, yet he is also turning the ball over at an alarming rate (4.2 per game) as well right now.
Navy might have the spirit and the fight to tangle with the Bulldogs, but right now LaTech simply has more basketball talent that will rise to the top in this meeting.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Louisiana Tech 83, Navy 68
11/20 10:37:05 ET