UAB Blazers at Louisiana Tech Bulldogs – NCAAM February 12

UAB (16-2, 9-1) at Louisiana Tech (15-6, 8-4)

  • Time: 4:30 PST – 6:30 CST – 7:30 EST
  • Place: Thomas Assembly Center, Ruston, La.
  • TV: ESPN+

Opening Tip:

The Blazers are two games ahead in the CUSA West over North Texas and Louisiana Tech as they head into this pivotal series with the Bulldogs. UAB has won six straight games which is the longest winning streak since the 2015-16 season when UAB reeled off 14 in a row. The Bulldogs have won seven of their last nine as they dropped a 57-55 decision to North Texas last Saturday.

Coach Andy Kennedy has is already making a difference in his first year at his alma mater and he played in the first meeting between these two teams as he scored 27 points in leading the Blazers to a 97-80 win in 1988.

The Bulldogs hold a 6-3 advantage over UAB as the two teams have met in two CUSA championships with each winning one game. Coach Eric Konkol is in his sixth season at the helm and is 63-39 against CUSA opponents.

VS. The Spread:

UAB:

  • The Blazers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games
  • The total has gone UNDER in 11 of UAB’s last 16 games
  • The Blazers are 1-4 ATS in the last 5 games vs. Louisiana Tech

Louisiana Tech:

  • The Bulldogs are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games
  • The UNDER has been the play in 8 of the last 10 La. Tech- UAB games
  • LT is 16-1 SU in their last 17 home games

Last Time Out:

Michael Ertel  and Jalen Benjamin scored 19 points each as UAB went on a 10-2 run midway through the second half to defeat UTEP, 75-60. The Blazers shot 53.8 percent from the field and made 8-of-13 triples.

Louisiana Tech trailed North Texas by 17 points midway through the first half but the Bulldogs flipped the script as Amorie Archibald scored on a layup with 13:33 to play and La. Tech took a 40-38 lead. The Mean Green hit the Bulldogs with a 7-0 run late which was the difference and spelled a 57-55 loss for the Dunkin’ Dogs.

Teams Spread Money Line Total Points
UAB +1 (-104) +101 O 134 (-110)
Louisiana Tech -1 (-116) -121 U 134 (-110)

Advantage, UAB:

This game will be won on the defensive end of the floor and both teams excel there. The Blazers are 3rd in the NCAA in scoring defense at 58.8 percent as they also check in at third in turnover margin (6.3), ninth in field goal percentage (38.5%) and 11th in scoring margin (+16.5).

This is a sticky perimeter defense as UAB forces 16.4 turnovers per game and then the Blazers have a solid shot blocker in Trey Jemison who has 43 rejections.

Key Blazers Stat:

Tavin Lovan has stepped up in conference games as he is averaging 12.6 points per game while passing out 33 assists against only 13 turnovers. He is flanked by a freshman point guard in Jalen Benjamin, who is averaging 15.7 points in his last four games. He and Tyreek Scott-Grayson are the only three-point threats with 42 and 25 makes.

X-Factor:

The Blazers’ guards are good off the dribble and they set up each other and the bigs well in the paint as UAB averages about 15 free throw attempts per game. Trey Jemison shoots 57.6 percent from the field and could have a big game as Louisiana Tech lacks shot blockers.

Advantage, La. Tech:

Louisiana Tech Bulldogs LogoThe Bulldogs will ramp up their defense as well as opponents only shoot 40 percent from the floor and 30.9 percent from three. Thirteen opponents have shot less than 40 percent from three and six times Louisiana Tech’s opponents shot their lowest percentage or their second lowest percentage on the season. The rebounding piece also goes with the recipe for La. Tech’s success as they average 38.7 per game with Kenneth Davis, Jr., (7.1 rpg) and Jacolby Pemberton (6.0 rpg) being the top ‘Dogs on the boards.

Key Bulldogs Stat:

Louisiana Tech’s offense thrives on the fast break as the Dunkin’ Dogs have scored 12.7 points per game in transition in their last six games. Combine that with an offensive attack that features leading scorer Isaiah Crawford (12.0 ppg, 40.8% – 3) and Amorie Archibald, who leads in makes with 30 and we find a well-rounded offense that can strike from all over the floor.

X-Factor:

Kenneth Lofton Jr., (10.2 ppg, 7.1 rpg.) might be a key in the paint. He needs to use his ball fakes and post moves against a quality shot blocker like Jemison. Lofton has made 21-of-31 field goals in his last five games while reeling in eight boards per game during the stretch.

Winner: Louisiana Tech (-1) 67, UAB 62
O/U: Take UNDER 134

The Bets
Louisiana Tech -1
-116
UNDER 134
-110
Sub Categories:
Kenneth Cross / Author

Kenneth Cross is a new entry to The Sports Geek staff as he has 25 years of experience in print, broadcast, and internet sports journalism. Cross is a lover of all sports, but college basketball is his passion. He estimates that he has seen around 1,500 college basketball games - live and in-person - and hopes that grows this season. If you listen to Radio, you have likely heard him on Sundays covering the Carolina Panthers for some 20 years. Now in Tampa Bay, he works as a national radio correspondent.