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Bulldogs grab first conference win

January 17, 2018

 

MICHAEL LOVETT
Staff Reporter | mdl034@ latech.edu

 

 

The Dunkin’ Dogs snapped their three game losing streak Jan. 6 with a 97-88 win over the UTEP Miners in the Thomas Assembly Center.
The Bulldogs, who started conference play over the holiday break, came into the game in desperate need of a win.

 

The team, which was without starting point guard DaQuan Bracey, was able to bounce back against UTEP with six players scoring in double digits led by junior guard Derric Jean, who had 20.

 

“I’m just really proud of our guys for how they stick together you know, we’ve been through some adversity we’ve had some tough losses. I’m just really proud of how our guys came together, played for each other and were able to come through with a win,” said head coach Eric Konkol.

 

Those tough losses coach Konkol referenced came at the hands of Western Kentucky, Marshall, and UTSA, with two of those being decided in the game’s final seconds.

 

The Bulldogs had some very productive minutes from two of their true freshmen, guard Amorie Archibald and forward Anthony Duruji.

 

“My mindset was to take care of the ball and get the team into the offense and just provide great energy for my team and the crowd,” Archibald said.

 

Konkol had high praise for his two of his young guys.

 

“Well I just think those guys are gaining such incredible experience, they really played some valuable minutes today, and made great contributions in a lot of different facets,” Konkol said.

 

Archibald, who took over much of the ball-handling duties due to Bracey’s absence, scored a career-high 15 points and tallied six assists.
Duruji has been getting used to playing a bigger role in the lineup for some time now.

 

“I think what has allowed us to become productive in the lineup as freshmen is that we’ve been consistent in practice. We’ve just been grinding and really trusting the process, and Coach has had faith in us and he trusts us so we’re just going with it,” Duruji said.

 

The Bulldogs also received big performances from many of their upperclassmen, including junior forward Jy’lan Washington, who had 19 points off the bench, and senior guard Jacobi Boykins.

 

The Bulldogs took 37 free-throw attempts, 20 more than the Miners, including 28 of those coming in the second half.

 

“In the first half we settled a little too much.” Duruji said. “In the second half we made the adjustment of being more assertive and attacking the basket aggressively which helped us a lot and got us to the line.”

 

The Bulldogs next travel to take on Middle Tennessee, which is number two in the conference standings.

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