LONGVIEW, Texas – Despite leading by a score of 26-25 at the break and outscoring the opposition by a score of 21-13 in the fourth quarter, the LeTourneau University women’s basketball team would be unable to overcome a sluggish start to the second half. Visiting Concordia University Texas came away with a 63-54 victory at Solheim Arena in Longview, Texas on Saturday, December 2.
The host Yellowjackets fall to 1-5 overall and 0-2 in the American Southwest Conference with the loss while the Tornadoes bounced back from Thursday’s loss to East Texas Baptist to improve to 5-2 overall and 1-1 in the ASC.
LETU would play loose and come out of the gates ready to play early on, trading the lead with CTX throughout the opening five minutes of action before taking their third lead of the game on a Keauna Whitfield layup. In the first quarter alone, seven lead changes would be had to go with two ties before the YellowJackets jumped out to a five-point lead at 15-10 with 2:12 left in the quarter. Five straight points by Concordia turned the five-point lead into a tie with 38 seconds left in the period as LETU would reclaim the lead on a Whitfield free throw to hold a 16-15 advantage at the end of the quarter.
A 10-0 Concordia run opened up the second quarter to give CTX a 25-16 lead and force a LeTourneau timeout, but Sha’Donnaver Young would end the run with 4:25 left in the first half with a three to pull LETU back within six at 25-19. The Triple would spark a 10-0 run for the YellowJackets with defense stepping up big for LETU in the final five minutes of the first half to put the YellowJackets back up at the half.
Things in the second half continued the trend of double-digit runs for teams as CTX opened up the half with an 11-0 run to take their first double-digit lead of the game at 36-26 as guard Kaycie Dunkerlrey took over with three treys in the opening four minutes. The edge maintained itself around the 10-point mark before getting cut to eight on a Young free throw with 2:25 left in the third, but Concordia Texas would use a 9-0 run to end the quarter with their most significant advantage of the day at 50-33.
No quit would be seen by a young YellowJacket squad with Whitfield and Ashley Reed getting LETU out to a 5-0 run to open the fourth quarter and get the deficit back down to 12 at 50-38, but CTX would hold LeTourneau at arm’s length and maintain their double-digit lead. The YellowJackets managed to finally whittle the lead down to single digits at 54-45 on a Jaila Leaven free throw and get to within seven on a Madison Mayfield free throw with 1:01 remaining. Free throw shooting would play a crucial factor in the game, however, as too many missed opportunities by LETU allowed CTX to sneak away with the road victory.
“I thought that we came out and played three and a half excellent quarters, but we had a huge lull in the third quarter, and we have to learn from it and move forward,” said head coach Cassi Rozanski in a post-game interview. “We were 9-19 from the free throw line, and it’s tough to win a game when you don’t shoot well from the charity stripe.” Our whole post-game talk as a team was about the lull we had in the third quarter and how we just cannot have that when we play games in the American Southwest Conference.” “We are going to move forward from this, and I look forward to our girls being able to put together 40 full minutes of a game.” “If we can do that, then we can be successful, but we have to be able to get to that point before we can move forward.”
LeTourneau managed to outshoot Concordia Texas, finishing 20-51 (39.2 percent) from the floor compared to 36.5 percent (19-52) shooting performance for CTX. A 37-26 rebounding advantage that included 11 offensive boards for the Tornadoes provided 14-second-chance points for Concordia, who also scored 20 points in the paint.
Serving as a model of consistency for LETU, freshman Whitfield finished the game with 15 points and 15 rebounds for a double-double to lead the YellowJackets while Reed finished with a team-high 16 points. Young recorded three steals in the game while Karley Patterson dished out three assists. Dunkerley prompted CTX by a game-high 19 points by Dunkerley.
Non-conference play resumes for LETU on Thursday, December 7, playing at Centenary College for a 6:00 p.m. showdown against the Ladies in Shreveport, LA.
LONGVIEW, Texas – A 13 point deficit with 9:23 remaining in regulation would not be enough to hold back the LeTourneau University Men’s Basketball Team from forcing overtime before going on to come away with a 117-110 victory. It was over Concordia University Texas at Solheim Arena in Longview, Texas on Saturday, December 2.
In a battle of American Southwest Conference preseason favorites, the YellowJackets won their fifth straight game to improve to 6-1 overall and 2-0 in the ASC while the Tornadoes finish their weekend opening road swing with a 4-3 overall record and 0-2 in the conference.
The defense would be optional and hard to find in the first 10 minutes of the game as both CTX, and LETU would get out and play at a frenetic pace while matching each other point for point through the first 16 points of the game. Three=point shooting would allow LeTourneau to trade two-point baskets by the Tornadoes with triples of their own to build a five-point lead at 19-14 with 14:04 remaining in the first half before three straight treys by Concordia gave the visitors a 23-22 lead with 12:38 remaining in the opening period.
An 8-0 run by CTX gave the Tornadoes a 33-26 lead that would be extended to nine at 41-32 with 6:41 remaining in the first half as LeTourneau’s high octane start would slow down and be brought back to reality. The lead would balloon to 13 on Concordia’s fifth three of the first half with 3:07 remaining in the first half before the YellowJackets would manage to end the half on a 9-2 run and get back within six points at 57-51.
In the second half, LeTourneau would keep the pace with the Tornadoes throughout the opening minutes of the half but never could entirely close the gap and tie the game. After cutting the CTX lead to three at 69-66, Concordia would use a 7-0 run to push the lead back to double digits at 76-66 with 13:25 remaining in regulation and hold onto their comfortable lead.
LETU faced their most massive deficit of the game with 9:23 remaining in the second half at 89-76 with foul trouble starting to catch up to the YellowJackets before five straight points from senior Caylab Herrera brought LeTourneau back within eight. Senior guard Alec Colhoff would foul out with 5:40 remaining in regulation despite scoring a game-high 27 points, leaving the court with LETU trailing by five at 94-89.
From that point forward, LETU would cut into Concordia’s lead and get the deficit down to one on a Herrera layup before tying the game at 98-98 on a Nate West triple that sent the home crowd into a frenzy. CTX would respond with a pair of free throws and use a turnover and layup to reclaim a four-point lead with 1:48 remaining but West once again would answer the call with a layup and pair of free throws to tie the game at 102-102 with 26 seconds left in regulation. Concordia would get a chance at a game-winning shot but see a Joe Neal jumper hit off the rim and bounce harmlessly to the floor to send the game to overtime.
In the extra session, West would continue his scoring ways by scoring four straight points following a Concordia layup to start the overtime period and give LeTourneau their first lead since the 11:41 mark in the first half. The Tornadoes once again answered with a Detarrius Kirk dunk to pull back within two, but LeTourneau would manage to hold their lead and get a Herrera rebound and put back to put LETU up 114-108 with 58 seconds remaining. Concordia would hit a pair of free throws on their next trip down the court, but would get no closer as three free throws by West ended the game with LeTourneau pulling out the seven-point victory.
It was an incredible basketball game, and Concordia Texas is a great team that laid it all on the line tonight,” said head coach Dan Miller in a post-game interview. I am extremely proud of our guys for gutting out a win tonight and putting together a great team effort.” “Both teams could score, and CTX is tough to stop, but we kept hanging around, and once we brought in senior Sam Talbert it provided a much-needed spark.”
The two teams would combine to hit 75 shots from the field as LETU would finish 39-71 (54.9 percent) from the field while connecting on 13 of 28 three’s (46.4 percent). Concordia Texas would nearly match LeTourneau by completing 36-78 (46.2 percent) from the field and 9 of 27 (33.3 percent) from beyond the arc while getting to the line 34 times (29-34, 85.3 percent). Rebounding would be in favor of the YellowJackets by a margin of 44-33 while the Tornadoes would take advantage of 23 LETU turnovers leading to 26 points.
Colhoff’s 27 points would be courtesy of 9 of 13 shooting from the field which included a season-high seven three’s while West would wind up with 26 points and seven assists. Herrera had himself a 23 point, ten rebound performance while freshman Justin Moore (18 points) and junior Caleb Loggins (13 points) gave LETU all five starters in double-figures for the second-straight game. Concordia Texas would also wind up with five players in double-figures, as Neal and Philip Meikle had 20 points each.
A much-needed week break for finals will await LeTourneau before the most extended road trip of the regular season for the YellowJackets. LETU will head to Alpine, Texas for a 4 p.m. American Southwest Conference clash with Sul Ross State University on Saturday, December 10th. The Lobos sit at 2-3 overall and 0-1 in the ASC following a 63-60 road loss at Texas-Dallas on Saturday.
Sports Information Director