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Bulldogs set for non-conference matchups at home

February 16, 2012

 

REINA KEMPT
Associate Sports Editor

 

After a 3-7 start in conference play, the Bulldog basketball team is looking to work their way to a higher ranking in conference play in order to receive a higher seed in the Western Athletic Conference Tournament.

 

In order to do that, they will test themselves against North Dakota (11-12) and Central Arkansas (7-16) in two non-conference games to stay prepped for the tournament.

 

Tech will host North Dakota at the Thomas Assembly Center tonight at 8 p.m. and Central Arkansas Saturday at 3:30 p.m. in the annual Bracket Buster.

 

Tech has been steadily improving on the offensive end where they have struggled throughout conference play, but the little things have kept them from finishing out close games.

 

Freshman guard Kenneth Smith said losing two very close games to the undefeated Nevada and the hot-shooting New Mexico State gives them motivation to know that they can beat these squads.

 

“We go back and look at the film and see our mistakes and what we could’ve done different to beat these teams,” Smith said. “We know we can do better and we can beat any team in the conference.”

 

Smith said there are some things they strive to get better at as a team, and there are also some individual things he needs to work on to contribute to the success of the team.

 

“We don’t box out and we don’t get every rebound,” Smith said. “It’s small mistakes. I have to work on my defense and my jump shot.”

 

Senior forward Romario Souza said that the little things like free throws and rebounding are going to make a big difference going into the WAC Tournament.

 

The tournament is going to be three games in three days, which is going to take some stamina for the Bulldogs to pull through and stay competitive this late in the season.

 

In preparation and in order to stay in shape, Tech has scheduled two non-conference games against North Dakota and Central Arkansas instead of taking a week and a half off during their down time in conference play.

 

Conditioning is a big part of head coach Michael White’s game plan according to Souza and has helped him down the stretch.

 

“I lost 30 pounds since coach got here this year,” Souza said. “He always stress being in shape and it’s what we have to do to play our best.”

 

Tech has to come together and figure out what they’re missing before the WAC Tournament as they look to finish their season off strong and shock their conference opponents.

 

Both games can be followed on Gametracker or fans can tune in to KXKZ 107.5 FM and KJVC 92.7 FM with Dave Nitz with the call for the Bulldogs in both contests.

 

Email comments to rjk007@latech.edu.

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