The men's basketball team faced off against the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs on Wednesday, Nov. 29.
In the first half, the Lobos started hot, going on a 14 to one run mid-way through the half, led by freshman guard Tru Washington. Offensively, he shot an efficient 4-6 – two of those buckets coming from the three-point line. Washington finished with 10 points and four rebounds in the game.
Despite the offensive surge early, the Lobos had a slew of turnovers and blown opportunities towards the end which halted their offensive flow. Along with that, they had a weak defense to close the half, which kept the game close. Going into half, the Lobos led the Bulldogs 35-28.
In the second half, adjustments were made as the Lobos adapted and fixed their first half mistakes as they put on a show offensively. They were coming out hitting a flurry of buckets, along with tightening things up on the defensive end – rejecting shots at the rim and making sure every shot that Louisiana Tech took was blocked.
In the second half, senior guard Jaelen House made an impact when on the court; wherever the ball was, he was there too.
Center Nelly Junior Joseph was getting it done – swatting shots, grabbing boards and scoring in the second half. He finished the game with a double-double of 11 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks.
Senior guard Jemarl Baker Jr. was hitting from three: racking up 12 points in the second half and finished the game shooting 6-9 from three after starting 2-5 in the first half. Baker Jr. finished the game with 18 points, three rebounds, and two assists.
Baker Jr. said he is going to use the same approach he used in this game for the next one.
“I’m going to take the same approach – be aggressive and just let it flow,” Baker said.
Now with a five game winning streak, Head Coach Richard Pitino said he is going to take a day-to-day approach to keep the Lobos momentum going.
“We are going to need to watch this film and have a productive practice – the goal is to have great practice. If we can have a great one tomorrow, then Friday we will be better prepared for Saturday night,” Pitino said.
Pitino said he believes this team is not a finished product and that there is one thing in particular they need to improve on.
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“Three-point field goal defense has been weak. We gotta get better at sustaining the energy for 40 minutes – continue to share the basketball so there's not one or two things to look at. We are not a finished product but I feel we got better tonight,” Pitino said.
Rodney Prunty is a freelance sports reporter at the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on twitter @Rprunty05