It is always a tough task to beat a team twice in the same season. LeTourneau men’s basketball completed that task on Saturday afternoon as they used an unselfish effort to take down Austin College for the second time this season.
Freshman Nate West led the YellowJackets (5-4, 1-3 ASC) who poured in 20 points to go along with career-highs in both assists (7) and rebounds (6). LeTourneau assisted on 20 of their 28 field goals for the second time this season and 12 players pitched in with points in the game. The Katy, Texas duo of Jeff Martin <http://www.letuathletics.com/roster.aspx?rp_id=3311> and Alec Colhoff <http://www.letuathletics.com/roster.aspx?rp_id=3307> each recorded 13 points with Martin also adding four assists and five rebounds.
LETU came into today’s game ranked third among NCAA Division III teams in assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.7 and second with turnovers per game at 9.1. The YellowJackets had an uncharacteristic 15 turnovers but were able to overcome by forcing 15 Roos turnovers and outrebounding Austin College 44 to 34. AC falls to 3-5 on the season with the loss.
“The guys did a great job of sustaining energy today and finishing. We told them that with our students gone, for the holidays, it’s important to keep energy high in our gym,” said LeTourneau coach Dan Miller <http://www.letuathletics.com/coaches.aspx?rc=436> after the win. “We were too careless with the ball and had to tighten that up going forward, but I thought our guys got some key stops tonight. We forced five ‘kills’ tonight and had five huge hustle plays, and that ended up being the difference.”
Coach Miller explained that “kills” are what the team calls three consecutive defensive stops and they track these during the game to see if the YellowJacket defense is playing consistently on the defensive side of the ball.
LeTourneau used a 14-0 run early in the first half to jump out to a 13-point lead and force a Roos timeout with just over 14 minutes remaining in the opening period. Austin College would make a run to get back within four at the 9:42 mark but the YellowJackets would extend the lead to 10 at the break.
LETU extended the lead to as many as 19 in the game as Cordele Jackson<http://www.letuathletics.com/roster.aspx?rp_id=3327> scored his first points as a YellowJacket with a three-point field goal at the 2:54 mark. Freshman Bryce Pauler <http://www.letuathletics.com/roster.aspx?rp_id=3322> converted on two free-throws in the waning seconds to give LeTourneau its final 62-78 margin of victory. The free-throws were the first career points for the guard out of Buffalo High School.
The YellowJackets will have one final game before the Christmas break as they host East Texas rival UT Tyler in an American Southwest Conference matchup on Monday afternoon. The Patriots come into the match with a 6-3 overall record and 2-1 in the ASC. Tip-off is set for 3:00 at Solheim Arena in Longview.
University of Texas at Tyler
Monday (Dec 19) 3:00 pm
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