Michale Kyser scored a game-high 20 points and pulled down nine rebounds, as the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs crushed the Charlotte 49ers, 86-65, during the quarterfinals of the Conference USA Tournament at the Don Haskins Center.
Alex Hamilton accounted for 19 points, Cordarius Johnson 14 and seven rebounds off the bench, followed by Chris Anderson with 12 points for the top-seeded Bulldogs (26-6).
The ninth-seeded 49ers (17-14) were paced by Terrence Williams and Pierria Henry with 13 points apiece, but they combined to shoot only 8-of-26 from the field. Denzel Ingram posted 12 points and Shawn Lester 11 off the bench, the latter hitting on 3-of-8 shots behind the 3-point line.
Charlotte led by a basket very early in the meeting, but the team ended up shooting only 34.4 percent from the floor in the first half, allowing Tech to take a 36-26 advantage at the break.
In the second half the Bulldogs erupted for 57.7 percent accuracy from the field and also connected on 16-of-24 at the free-throw line in order to create some distance between themselves and Charlotte.
In addition to forcing 16 turnovers, which they traded in for 17 points, the Bulldogs also outscored the 49ers in the paint by a comfortable 36-18 margin.
With the win, Louisiana Tech will now face fourth-seeded Southern Miss in the semifinals after the Golden Eagles took down UTEP earlier on Thursday, 64-56.