ASC TOURNAMENT CENTRAL
Postgame Interview <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pTTkyzXayH4>
LeTourneau men’s basketball continued their historic season by claiming their 21st win and first ever American Southwest Conference Tournament victory.
In front of a rambunctious LETU BlueCrew, the YellowJackets stormed out to a 15-2 lead in the first four minutes of the game. They shot .563 percent (18-32) from the field in the first half.
“I thought our focus was sharp tonight and it showed right from the beginning of the game,” said head coach Dan Miller <http://letuathletics.com/coaches.aspx?rc=436> after the win. “We were very aggressive on offense finding the shots we wanted to early and kept that momentum going throughout the first half.”
LeTourneau shot just under .500 percent from the floor (27-55) and scored 90 points for the 10th time this season. LETU also recorded 18 assists, 15 of which came in the first half. They finished the regular season as the top-ranked team in the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.83. The YellowJackets outrebounded Sul Ross 44-37, a key to the victory over a big and physical Lobo team.
Senior Jeff Martin <http://letuathletics.com/roster.aspx?rp_id=3311> was two rebounds away from what would have been the first triple-double in tournament history as he pulled down eight rebounds to go along with 14 points and 10 assists. The Seven Lakes High School product also swiped three steals as LETU forced 12 Lobo turnovers.
The moment was not too big for freshman Nate West <http://letuathletics.com/roster.aspx?rp_id=3318> who finished with a career-high 25 points in his first postseason appearance. The YellowJackets had four in double figures as Alec Colhoff <http://letuathletics.com/roster.aspx?rp_id=3307> scored 14 points and Caleb Loggins <http://letuathletics.com/roster.aspx?rp_id=3310> had his second consecutive 20-point performance. Loggins also grabbed nine rebounds and recorded two blocks.
Caleb Thomasson paced Sul Ross as he scored a game-high 37 points, just shy of the tournament record of 42. The junior center scored half of the Lobo’s points.
“We did a great job on many of their players defensively tonight, but it’s hard to contain their big man (Thomasson) as he’s a great player,” said Miller. “I was very pleased though with the way we hustled and attacked the 50-50 balls all night long.”
The lead would swell to as many as 27 points in the first half on a Colhoff 3-point field goal at the 3:46 mark. LETU took a 48-25 lead into the locker room.
In the second stanza, the YellowJackets continued to score at a comfortable clip and held off any SRSU runs including knocking down a season-high 28 free throws in the game.
The YellowJackets improved to 21-5 on the year and are now 1-4 all-time in the postseason. The win over Sul Ross avenges a quarterfinal loss from the 2016 tournament as the Lobos defeated LeTourneau 97-72.
“I’m very proud of the guys for the accomplishment but now we need to focus on having a good practice tomorrow for a great game tomorrow night against a very good Concordia Texas team,” said Miller.
LeTourneau advances to the semifinals of the ASC Championship Tournament and will face the No. 2-seed from the West Division, Concordia Texas.
The Tornados lead the conference in scoring at 97.6 points per contest as well as turnover margin forcing opposing teams into 20 turnovers per game this season. LETU won the regular-season matchup at home 121-106, the highest point total for the YellowJackets since joining Division III.
The ASC semifinal games will tip off at 5:00 p.m. Friday with UT Dallas facing Hardin-Simmons as all the higher-ranked teams in the tournament advanced. LeTourneau and CTX will square off at 7:30 p.m. from Solheim Arena.
You can find all live stat/video links along with post game stats, interviews, recaps and photos at the Tournament Central page here <http://www.letuathletics.com/sports/2017/2/16/asc-mens-basketball-tournament-central.aspx?id=95>.
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