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’Dogs take on Redhawks

January 18, 2013

Senior forward Brandon Gibson, junior guard Jaron Johnson and sophomore guard Kenneth “Speedy” Smith get ready to take on Seattle Saturday night in the Thomas Assembly Center. - Photo by Deepanjan Mukhopadhyay

 

DEVIN KING
Sports Reporter

 

A nail-biting victory against the University of Texas at San Antonio last Saturday extended the Bulldogs basketball team’s winning streak to six games. This year’s team has started off strong, and the goal of becoming Western Athletic Conference champions is within reach.

 

They will have to continue to strive for this goal against Seattle University Saturday at 7 p.m. in Ruston.

 

At the time of press, the Bulldogs had a 14-3 record, undefeated and tied for first place in the WAC.

 

Kenyon McNeail came off the bench and scored 34 points against UTSA. McNeail had a career-high night and tied the season high for most points by any Bulldog this year. He also set a record for three pointers attempted.

 

Coach Michael White said he has not seen anything like McNeail’s performance.

 

“He went crazy at UTSA,” White said. “He got a lot of good looks and seem like he could not miss. If anybody deserves a good game, it should be him.”

 

McNeail went 9-15 in 3-pointers and 11-19 from the field in 22 minutes against UTSA. His 34 points were tied for the second most by Division 1 player coming off the bench this season.

 

McNeail said he did not do anything different before the game.

 

“I did not feel like I was in the zone because my first shot was an air ball, but my team kept telling me to shoot it,” McNeail said. “In the end it worked out best for the team.”

 

The Bulldogs will need everybody to pitch in, including sophomore forward Michale Kyser, who leads the team in blocks with a total of 56 this season. Kyser had four blocks against UTSA, and his biggest block came at the end of the game that helped the ’Dogs pull of the victory.

 

Sophomore guard Kenneth Smith leads the WAC with 86 assists in the season.

 

When the men’s basketball team takes on Seattle, fans should look forward to seeing the progression of McNeail this season.

 

“He is playing starter minutes,” White said. “He has always been considered a starter.”

 

If McNeail can continue his productivity for the Bulldogs, sophomore guard Raheem Appleby stays leading the team in scoring and Kyser keep adding to his block total Saturday night against Seattle, the goal of becoming WAC champions gets closer.

 

McNeail said he knows the importance of playing well at home.

 

“We let up last year at home,” McNeil said. “We were young and did not finish games. This year we want to start strong and finish strong. We do not want to let our fans down again, and we are trying to prove a point to other WAC teams coming into our home.”

 

Bulldog fans can watch Tech take on the Redhawks on Gametracker at www.latechsports.com/allaccess.

 

Email comments to dki008@latech.edu.

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