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LeTourneau University

 

 

LeTourneau University

MEN’S BASKETBALL

An offensive rebound and put-back attempt by ETBU’s Junior Mitchell led the visiting Tigers to a 56-54 win over LeTourneau University on Saturday in Longview.

The YellowJackets (9-13, 6-7 ASC) had forced a desperation 3-point attempt by Dylan Augustine with the shot clock winding down before an alert Mitchell came in from the perimeter for the game-winning, put-back attempt with seven seconds to go. LeTourneau called a timeout and looked to set up a play to send the contest into overtime. However, the YellowJackets were unable to get off a shot.

“Both teams defended at a high level, and they made one more play than we did,” said LETU head coach Dan Miller. “We got the defensive stop, we needed, but we didn’t box out on their last possession. I love our guys and how they go to battle every game. We will learn from this and be ready the next time we take the floor.”

Sophomore Alec Colhoff and freshman Caleb Loggins, who had 14 and 10 points, respectively, led LeTourneau. Colhoff hit three 3-pointers, and Loggins nearly had a double-double with nine rebounds to go along with three assists and two blocked shots. It is the 10th game for the YellowJackets decided by three points or less.

Jordan Quillian and Augustine, who scored 16 and 11 points, respectively, led the Tigers (18-4, 11-2 ASC). East Texas Baptist outrebounded LeTourneau, 49-to-38 in the win with Quillian and Loggins each with nine.

The Highway 80 rivalry lived up to its billing as the score was tied four times and lead changed five more times. LeTourneau cut the deficit to one on five occasions in the second half; then they were able to take their first lead at the 17:31 mark of the first-half when Colhoff hit a 3-pointer with 4:21 to play that put the YellowJackets ahead 52-50. The two teams traded baskets with junior Jeff Martin putting LETU ahead 54-52 with 2:36 to play.

After both teams each made a pair of baskets with just under a minute to play, Quillian tied the game at 54 with 0:52 to play. After an ETBU timeout, LETU missed a chance to go ahead and the Tigers called a timeout with 0:18 left. Coming out of the timeout, Augustine put up the 3-pointer with 0:11 to play, but a perceptive Mitchell came in for what proved to be the game-winning basket.

The YellowJackets will next take their final road trip of the regular season when they travel to Belhaven on Saturday, Feb. 13 at 3 p.m.

MEN’S BASKETBALL

The LeTourneau University men’s basketball team scored five of the first seven points in overtime en route to a 95-84 win over Louisiana College on Thursday night in Solheim Arena.

The YellowJackets (9-12, 6-6 ASC) took one step closer to its goal of reaching the American Southwest Conference Tournament with the win. In the win, LETU shot 50.8% from the field and forced Louisiana College into 15 turnovers which translated into 20 points for the YellowJackets; plus, they also made a season-high 27 free throws at an 81.8% clip.

Five players – including four starters – for LeTourneau scored in double figures including senior CJ Edwards, who scored a team-high 27 points on the strength of four 3-pointers. Sophomore Alec Colhoff added 18. Junior Jeff Martin had a double-double with 12 points and ten assists to go along with seniors Zakarius Wells and Giovanny Thompson, who had 11 and 10 points, respectively.

Anthony Gaines, Jr., who had 32 points and Raheem Regis added 24 for Louisiana College, led the Wildcats (9-11, 8-6 ASC).

“Both teams competed tonight,” said LETU head coach Dan Miller. “We had opportunities to close it out in the second half and didn’t get it done. But, I am extremely proud of the resiliency our team showed in the overtime.”

Martin made a pair of free throws with 3:46 to go in the second half that put the home team ahead 66-59. The Wildcats went on a 10-3 spurt to tie the game for the first time in a little over seven minutes when Gaines tied the contest at 69 with 1:03 to play in the second half. The YellowJackets stretched the lead to four when Martin made four-straight free throws, but the visitors had an answer with two baskets in the final 13 seconds to tie the game at 73. A last-second shot by Edwards came up short and sent the game into overtime.

Gaines, Jr. made a pair of free throws start overtime for a brief two-point lead for the visitors. Then, the YellowJackets called on LETU freshman Christian Seidl, who was returning to the team after missing action last week, due to the passing of his father. The Lake Travis native rose to the occasion. He quickly tied the game for the 11th time when he made a jumper after a pass from Edwards.

“Christian made some big plays in the overtime, and we know his dad (Mike) is smiling down on that,” said Miller. LeTourneau went on an 11-2 run that included a 3-pointer and a lay-up by Seidl that put the YellowJackets ahead nine, 86-77, with 1:34 to go and for the remainder of the contest. LeTourneau stretched the margin to as much as 12 to seal the win.

It will be a quick turnaround for the YellowJackets, who will face East Texas Baptist on Saturday at 3:00 p.m. There will be free Raising Cane’s for LETU and ETBU students between games and at halftime, the Teams of Tomorrow will be performing.

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

The LeTourneau University women’s basketball team picked up its sixth home win of the season with a 62-52 win over East Texas Baptist University on Saturday in Longview.

The YellowJackets (14-8, 9-4 ASC East) moved one step closer to the conference tournament with the 10-point victory. The 14 wins for the YellowJackets in 2015-16 have been by an average of 12.5 points and the recipe for success has been balanced scoring, and that was the case again in the win. Junior Crystal Jones scored a game-high 25 points to lead LETU, plus Ashley Stephens and LaTanya Drakes added 12 and 10 points, respectively.

On the strength of the 10 points from Drakes, the LETU bench outscored ETBU 20-2 and as a team, the YellowJackets forced 21 turnovers creating 20 more points for LETU.

April Leonard, who had 18, include three 3-pointers for ETBU, led the Tigers (13-9, 6-7 ASC East). Malasia Chisholm and Taylee Alexander, who added 11 and 10 points, respectively, joined Leonard. Chisholm scored nine of her 11 points in the first quarter.

“It took a total team effort today to get this win,” said LETU second-year head coach Leslie Reinecker. “We knew ETBU was a solid team, and this was going to be a very intense game. Our players stepped up, executed our game plan and fought all the way to the end. I am very proud of how we put this game together from start to finish.”

A 3-pointer by Jones put LETU ahead 14-13 to end the first quarter and for the rest of the contest. A 10-3 spurt midway through the quarter by the YellowJackets that included a 3-pointer by freshman Jalia Leaven put LeTourneau ahead by 12, 31-19 with 1:38 to go in the opening half. The Tigers managed to cut the deficit to single digits, scoring the final four points of the half.

LeTourneau came out of the halftime locker room and scored the first five points including a 3 pointer by Stephens – just her third of the season. Twice, in the third quarter, ETBU cut the LeTourneau to the deficit to three. A jumper by Drakes and Jones each time ended the threats for the visitors. ETBU started the final quarter, scoring five of the first seven points to cut the LETU lead to two, 48-46 with 8:20 to play.

Again, LETU had an answer. This time, the YellowJackets ended the comeback hopes with 14 of the final 20 points in the game. In the spurt, Jones accounted for seven of the 14 to lead the host YellowJackets.

The win seals a spot in the upcoming ASC Tournament, Feb. 25-27 in Tyler for the YellowJackets with three games left to play in the regular season. The two teams both wore pink in support of the Kay Yow Fund and breast cancer research.

The next game for LeTourneau is on Saturday, Feb. 13 at Belhaven at 1:00 p.m. in Jackson, Mississippi.

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

A stifling third quarter by the LeTourneau University women’s basketball team propelled the host YellowJackets to a 77-61 win over Louisiana College on Thursday night.

The YellowJackets (13-8, 8-4 ASC East) moved one step closer to securing a spot in the ASC Tournament and avenged a two-point loss to the Wildcats, last Saturday (Jan. 30). LeTourneau led from start to finish in the win as senior Ashley Stephens (pictured) had 15 points and nine rebounds in 23 minutes of action to lead LETU. Junior Crystal Jones, who added 11 points, joined Stephens with double figures.

For the season, LETU is 5-1 at home with its lone loss coming at the hands of UT Tyler, who clinched the ASC East Division title on Thursday night.

LETU second-year head coach Leslie Reinecker used all 15 players in the win with 12 of them breaking into the scoring column. The YellowJackets held Louisiana College to 30.6% (19-for-62) shooting from the field and forced 22 turnovers.

Rydeja McQuarn, who had a game-high 25 points including a 9-for-10 effort from the free-throw line, led the Wildcats (8-11, 6-6 ASC East). Rometta Lombard had a double-double with 13 points and ten rebounds.

LeTourneau stretched a 12-point halftime lead to 30, 65-35 when they held the Wildcats’ to just six points in the third quarter. In the quarter, LETU limited LC to a pair of field goals on the defensive side and made 50% (10-for-20) of its shots from the field to put the game out of reach. In the quarter, Stephens scored eight of her team-high 15 to lead the YellowJackets.

Next, the YellowJackets will host East Texas Baptist University on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. as part of Pink Out to raise breast cancer awareness. Survivors of breast cancer are encouraged to come to the game for recognition at halftime. Also at halftime, the Teams of Tomorrow will be performing.

BASEBALL

The LeTourneau University baseball team split a doubleheader with Arlington Baptist, winning game one, 6-4 and dropping the nightcap, 6-3 in a pair of seven-inning contests at Conrad-Vernon Field on Saturday.

The YellowJackets (1-2) earned the opener on the strength of eight hits including a pair from junior Kyle Jacobs and took advantage of seven walks by three Arlington Baptist pitchers. Senior Sean Sellers added two RBI after reaching base on all four plate appearances including three walks. Plus, junior Aaron Perkins scored twice, reaching on a pair of walks. Both Perkins and Sellers scored in the fifth inning for what proved to be the difference in the game.

Freshman Andrew Harlan made his LETU debut with four innings of work, allowing six hits, four runs (three earned) and striking out four en route to the win. Fellow freshman Blake Maxfeldt pitched the final three innings of one-hit relief and striking out five to record the save.

In the nightcap, Arlington Baptist broke up open a scoreless game when they scored a run in the third and twice in the fourth for a 3-0 lead. LeTourneau got on the scoreboard in the fourth as Carson Dickey scored after a single to start the inning.

The Patriots picked up two runs in the fifth to make it a 5-1 contest. In the bottom of the fifth, the YellowJackets began the inning with a single by Perkins and a double by Sellers to put runners on second and third for senior Taylor Empkey, who picked up an RBI groundout to cut the deficit to 5-2. A pop out and foul out kept the YellowJackets from drawing closer. Arlington Baptist added an insurance run in the sixth for a 6-2 lead.

Perkins started a comeback attempt by the YellowJackets in the seventh when he reached on a one-out single. Three wild pitches later by Arlington Baptist scored Perkins, but the YellowJackets would eventually strand a pair of runners to end the contest.

Next, the YellowJackets will welcome Texas Lutheran to Conrad-Vernon Field on Friday, Feb. 12 at 6:00 p.m. as well as Centenary and Trinity on Saturday, Feb. 13 at 2 and 6:00 p.m., respectively.

BASEBALL

The LeTourneau University baseball team dropped a 5-4 decision to Arlington Baptist on a chilly Friday night in Longview to open the 2016 season.

Senior Taylor Empkey, who went 3-for-5 with a run scored and an RBI, led the Yellow Jackets (0-1). Fellow senior Jordan Carns was the opening day starter and the losing pitcher after a five-inning and seven-strikeout stint.

The Patriots (1-0) scored two runs each in the first, and the fifth inning and a crucial insurance run in the seventh for the win. Five of the seven hits for Arlington Baptist came in the top five of the lineup, including a pair from shortstop Tyler Brown, who went 2-for-4 with three runs scored.

A two-RBI single with the bases loaded in the first inning by Ryan Sloma quickly put the visitors ahead of the YellowJackets. Then, they added to their lead with back-to-back RBI singles in the fifth by Cameron Guzman, and Trevor Currington stretched the lead to 4-0.

LETU got its first run of the season when Empkey drove in fellow senior Sean Sellers, who earlier in the inning had reached on a single and stole second in the sixth. Then, they cut the deficit to two, 4-2 on a sacrifice fly by Jacob Simmons that scored Empkey after an Arlington Baptist error.

The Patriots scored what proved to be the game-winning run when they took advantage of an LETU error in the seventh for a 5-2 lead. LeTourneau made it a one-run game in its half of the seventh when they took advantage of more miscues by Arlington Baptist. Both runs came across to score on a Sellers’ fielder’s choice. LeTourneau stranded a runner in the eighth and two more in the ninth in an attempt to tie the game.

The two teams will wrap up the weekend series with a doubleheader on Saturday at noon at Conrad-Vernon Field.