NATCHITOCHES, La. – Holding a 27-13 advantage in points, because of turnovers, the LeTourneau University men’s basketball team trailed for a total of 31 seconds en route to a 99-84 win over NCAA Division I Northwestern State University in an exhibition game at Prather Coliseum in Natchitoches, Louisiana on Sunday, November 12.
The game does not count towards LeTourneau’s regular-season schedule but does count for the Demons who fall to 0-2 on the season.
It would be apparent from the start that both teams would want to play at a quick pace with the opening basket of the game coming just 11 seconds into the game on a layup by Czar Perry of NSU. The two-point lead would prove to be the Demons only lead of the game with sophomore Nate West answering with a layup of his own to tie the game at 2-2 before connecting on three free throws just 28 seconds later to give LETU their first lead of the game.
LeTourneau’s lead would hover between five and seven points throughout the opening minutes of the game as the YellowJackets could not find a way to break the game open with NSU answering LETU basket for basket. A Caylab Herrera three with 13:34 remaining in the first half would allow for LeTourneau to push their lead to 20-13 with the triple being part of a 10-0 LETU run to make the score 24-13 in favor of the YellowJackets.
LeTourneau utilized efficient shooting from the field to open up the early lead, starting out 7-of-11 before finishing the half by hitting two of their final 18 shots. They offset shooting woes by a 17-of-22 performance from the charity stripe in the opening 20 minutes which would allow for the YellowJackets to hold a 38-37 halftime lead.
Another quick start to open up the second half would see LETU push their lead back out to 44-39 just two minutes into the second period with senior Alec Colhoff scoring two of his 21 points in the game on a layup to put the LeTourneau lead at 46-39. Northwestern State would not go quietly, using a Perry three to cut the lead to 48-44 before scoring another bucket trail by only two with 15:34 remaining in the game.
LeTourneau maintained their composure despite the adversity of Herrera and Caleb Loggins each picking up their fourth foul with over 14 minutes remaining in the game, utilizing Seth Mattson and West triples to push the lead back out to 61-54. Northwestern State would be called for two technical fouls just 34 seconds apart from each other before picking up a third 32 seconds after the ump called the second one, which allowed for Colhoff to sink five of six free throws. The free throws would be part of a 9-0 LETU run that gave the YellowJackets an 83-68 lead with eight minutes remaining and momentum heading into crunch time.
A pair of Justin Moore free throws would give LeTourneau their largest lead of the evening at 90-73 with just over five minutes remaining as the Demons had no answer for the YellowJacket attack in the second half. Despite NSU scoring 11 points down the stretch, LETU would match the Demons on the offensive end of the court to hold on for a 15 point win in their first of two exhibitions against NCAA Division I Southland Conference opponents.
“I’m proud of our guys today as we had a great week of practice and felt ready to compete against somebody else,” said head coach Dan Miller in a post-game interview. “We stressed ball toughness all week, and I thought our guys were solid with the basketball.” “We have a lot of respect for coach McCarthey and Northwestern State, so it is pretty special to win at their place and defeat a Southland Conference team.” “I want the guys to enjoy the feeling of beating an NCAA Division I team, but tomorrow we need to move on and focus hard to prepare for our season opener on Wednesday.”
LETU shot 43.1 percent from the field (28-65) overall and outscored Northwestern State 61-47 in the second half while going to the charity stripe 43 times in the game. NSU would hold a 41-20 advantage in bench points, while also maintaining a 15-10 lead in second-chance points.
West led all scorers with 32 points in the contest, connecting on eight of 11 free throws and adding a team-high eight rebounds. Colhoff scored 11 of his 21 points at the free throw line while Moore added 14 and Loggins had 10. The YellowJackets limited their turnovers to 12 while forcing 20 by NSU, with the 14 point advantage in points off turnovers making the difference in the game.
The season will officially get underway for the YellowJackets on Wednesday evening, November 15th when LETU plays host to Austin College at 7 p.m. Last season, LeTourneau went 16-2 at Solheim Arena with the only losses coming to reigning American Southwest Conference champion Hardin-Simmons University.
NATCHITOCHES, La. – Playing in their final tune-up of the 2017-18 preseason, the LeTourneau University women’s basketball team showed signs of growth throughout despite falling to host NCAA Division I Northwestern State University by a final score of 82-39 at Prather Coliseum on Sunday afternoon.
Playing NSU for the fourth consecutive season, the Lady Demons would jump out to an 8-0 lead early on in the first quarter before a trey by senior Ashley Reed got the YellowJackets on the scoreboard to cut the deficit to 8-3. Northwestern State would respond with a three of their own to tie their largest lead of the first quarter at eight points as LETU would go on a 6-0 run to cut the lead to 11-9 with 3:44 remaining in the first period. LeTourneau would pick up another three with sophomore guard Alexandria Thorne getting in the scorebook to cut the lead back down to two at 14-12. NSU would respond with their second three of the quarter with 1:19 left in the first to take a 17-12 lead into the second quarter.
Shooting woes and turnovers would cause issues for the YellowJackets throughout the second quarter as LETU would be held scoreless for the first 5:17 of the second stanza. Northwestern State scored the first 15 points to jump out to a 32-12 lead as LeTourneau would manage to shoot just 2-10 from the field in the second 10 minutes of action while turning the ball over ten times which led to seven Lady Demon points. The score would end up being 35-16 in favor of NSU at intermission.
The third quarter would wind up being the most productive offensive quarter for LETU in the game, with LeTourneau putting up 17 puts on six-of-16 shooting from the field with 10 points coming in the paint and 13 points coming from bench players. NSU managed to extend their halftime lead of 19 and push it to 30 points at 50-20 with a layup at 5:32 left in the third period before a 9-0 run by the YellowJackets capped off by a Thorne triple cut the lead back down to 50-29. The Demons would snap a two-minute scoreless streak by going on a 10-4 run to end the third as the score would sit at 60-34 heading into the fourth.
Foul trouble and depth finally caught up to the YellowJackets in the fourth quarter as LETU saw the Demons manage to get to the charity stripe ten times in the quarter. LeTourneau would score the opening two points of the quarter with a jumper by Thorne, but NSU would go on a 9-1 run to extend their lead to 71-36 with 3:40 remaining in the game. A four-minute, 27-second scoreless drought for LETU would be snapped on a three by Keauna Whitfield but would end up being the final points of the match for LeTourneau with Northwestern State ending the game on an 11-0 run.
“We had way too many turnovers to compete with an NCAA Division I team today, and we have a lot of growing and adjusting to do” Said head coach Cassi Rozanski in a post-game interview. “We started two freshmen who have never played in an environment like this and we did have good spurts today that if we can capitalize on we will do good things moving forward.”
LETU would shoot just 15 of 52 from the field (28.8 percent) compared to 29 of 70 (41.4 percent) for NSU with the Lady Demons scoring 33 points off YellowJacket turnovers. Bench points would be 23-18 in favor of LeTourneau with Northwestern State holding a 30-18 lead in points in the paint.
Whitfield led the YellowJackets with 11 points and seven rebounds (six-defensive) while Reed had five points and three assists to go along with one steal. Kiara Johnson and Thorne both had eight points in the game. Starter Libba Gilliam led NSU by a game-high 21 points.
LeTourneau will play their 2017-18 season opener on Wednesday night at 5:00 p.m. at NCAA Division I Houston Baptist University. HBU is 0-1 this year after dropping their season opener at South Florida on Sunday afternoon by a score of 90-43. The game will mark the head coaching debut of LETU head coach Cassi Rozanski.
NEWPORT NEWS, Virginia – Having three individual runners qualify for the NCAA South/Southeast Regional Meet, the LeTourneau University men’s and women’s cross country team concluded their 2017 season with season-best times by all three runners at the Lee Hall Mansion in Newport News, Virginia.
On the men’s side, junior Michael Field would be the lone representative for the YellowJackets in the 222 runner field as the Tega City, South Carolina native finished 87th with a time of 26:34.80. The time was over 40 seconds better than his previous season-best time which was running at the American Southwest Conference Championships and was the seventh-best time ran by an ASC runner at the meet. In three NCAA South/Southeast regional meets, Field has turned in finishes of 124th, 82nd, and 87th.
Sophomore Alexis Segura led the LETU women by finishing 35th overall in the 228-runner field with a time of 22:48.80. The Austin, Texas native turned in her second consecutive top-40 NCAA regional meet finish after taking 30th with 23:44.50-time last year. Freshman Kirstiana Welch also turned in her best effort of the year by finishing 104th with 24:22.90-time, which is 24 seconds better than her previous career-best.