Balanced scoring was the name of the game for LeTourneau on Saturday as four YellowJackets in double figures led by Christian Seidl who poured in 16 points on 6 of 10 shooting from the floor. LETU played unselfish basketball; assisting on 20 of 28 field goals.
The YellowJackets overcame a cold-shooting first half and improved to 4-3 overall and earned their first conference victory of the season. The LETU men now sit at 1-2 in the ASC. The Warhawks drop to 4-3 overall with the loss and hold a 2-1 record in the ASC.
“It was a very physical game, and I was proud of our guys for making the plays down the stretch,” said head coach Dan Miller <http://www.letuathletics.com/coaches.aspx?rc=436> after the victory. “We didn’t shoot the ball well early and struggled from the free-throw line but still found a way to win and that is encouraging.”
Senior guard Jeff Martin <http://www.letuathletics.com/roster.aspx?rp_id=3311> filled up the stat sheet as recorded his second double-double of the season. Martin scored 11 points to go along with ten assists and seven rebounds.
Junior forward Caylab Herrera <http://www.letuathletics.com/roster.aspx?rp_id=3325> made his presence felt in the second half as he dropped all his 11 points in the final period. His front court mate Caleb Loggins <http://www.letuathletics.com/roster.aspx?rp_id=3310> scored 10 points to go along with six rebounds and three blocks.
The Warhawks jumped out to an early 15-6 lead in the first half as the YellowJackets failed to convert on open looks from the floor. LETU shot just 15 percent from behind the arc and 33 percent from the floor in the opening period. Despite the shooting woes, LeTourneau would go into the half with a 26-21 lead.
McMurry would fight back and take a one-point lead with 7:18 remaining after a LaRandall Scroggins free throw. But LETU would respond with a 7-0 run to take a 56-50 lead punctuated by a Caylab Herrera <http://www.letuathletics.com/roster.aspx?rp_id=3325> three-point field goal prompting a Warhawk timeout.
McMurry didn’t score a field goal after a Kaan Yilmaz layup at the 5:37 mark and the YellowJackets finished the game on an 11-3 run. LeTourneau outscored McMurry 38-24 in the paint and forced 20 Warhawk turnovers which led to 23 points off turnovers.
“McMurry forced 20 turnovers in each of the last two ASC games so we knew valuing the ball would be important and we did a great job and accomplished our team goal of eight or under turnovers,” said Miller. “I thought our post players did an excellent job all night against McMurry’s good post players and we worked to not give them any easy looks. It was a great team win, and we are excited to get back to practice to prepare for another excellent team on Monday night.”
LeTourneau will be back in front of the home crowd on Monday as they square off with Hardin-Simmons at 7:30 p.m. at Solheim Arena. The Cowboys come into the matchup with an identical 4-3 overall record and 2-2 in conference after a triple overtime loss to UT-Tyler on Saturday afternoon.
Crystal Jones scored 10 of her 23 points in the third quarter to lead the YellowJackets to a 69-66 victory over McMurry in LeTourneau’s ASC home-opener on Saturday afternoon.
The combo of Jones and LaTanya Drakes <http://www.letuathletics.com/roster.aspx?rp_id=3364> proved to be too much for the visiting Warhawks as Drakes poured in 14 of her 16 points in the second half to go along with 14 rebounds. This effort was the fifth double-double performance for the senior from Gardena, California.
The senior duo of Bria Goodman <http://www.letuathletics.com/roster.aspx?rp_id=3365> and Paige Demery <http://www.letuathletics.com/roster.aspx?rp_id=3363> were huge for the YellowJackets who improved to 3-4 overall with the win and 2-1 in conference play. Goodman scored nine points, and Demery added eight points and seven rebounds for LeTourneau.
“It was good to come out after finals week and get the win,” said head coach Leslie Reinecker <http://www.letuathletics.com/coaches.aspx?rc=454>. “We saw improvement in our offensive execution and our team free throw percentage, which are things we have been focusing on in practice. We have to improve defensively and on the boards, but overall we are happy with the result.”
The first half was back and forth between the two teams as the game saw nine lead changes in the opening 20 minutes of play. The YellowJackets would go into the break with the single-point lead 31-30.
The third quarter was where LeTourneau won the game as they opened the period on a 12-2 run to take a 43-32 lead over the Warhawks. LETU would push the lead to as many as 14 in the third quarter that ended with a YellowJacket 54-42 lead after a pair of McMurry free throws.
The Warhawks would chip away at the lead in the fourth quarter including a seven-point run by McMurry’s Skylar Reyna. A Jada Robert’s free throw put LETU up by three with five seconds remaining in the game. LeTourneau would buckle down on defense to get the final stop and seal the victory for the YellowJackets.
The LeTourneau women will be back in Solheim Arena on Monday night at 5:30 p.m. for another American Southwest Conference matchup with Hardin-Simmons University. The Cowgirls come into the game with an identical 3-4 overall record and 2-2 in the ASC after dropping their last two games to Louisiana College and UT Tyler.