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LeTourneau University

 

LeTourneau University
MEN’S BASKETBALL

Four YellowJackets scored in double figures – Giovanny Thompson, Jeff Martin, Sam Talbert and CJ Edwards – to lead LeTourneau men’s basketball to an 85-78 win over Belhaven University on Saturday in Jackson, Mississippi.

The YellowJackets (10-12) quickly found themselves behind 14-2 in the opening 5:10 of the contest but a 19-6 surge in retaliation put LeTourneau ahead 21-20 with 8:26 to go in the first half. The game remained close for the remainder of the half as the visitors were able to build a lead as large as six in the first half. Twice, in the second half, the YellowJackets went up by as much as 13 but never relinquished the lead. In the win, LeTourneau shot 46% (29-for-63) from the field and

“I was proud of our guys to rebound from the start of the game,” said LETU head coach Dan Miller. “Belhaven came out and executed extremely well right from the tip, so we had to play from behind early. We showed great poise and that’s a sign of a team that’s learning how to win.”

Belhaven (2-21) had three players in double figures – De’la Mayers, Josh Gaskin and Josh Carpenter – in the loss. Mayers had a game-high 27 points to lead the Blazers, plus Gaskin and Carpenter had 18 and 14 points, respectively. Belhaven shot 58.8% (30-for-51) from the field in the loss.

Thompson led the YellowJackets with 21 points and 14 rebounds for his eighth double-double of the season. Talbert had a season-high 15 points on the strength of four 3-pointers. The 36 points by Thompson and Talbert off the bench allowed the YellowJackets to outscore Belhaven by a 48-11 margin. Martin had 17 points, six rebounds, six assists and three steals, plus Edwards added 10 points. Also, off the bench sophomore, Alec Colhoff added nine.

“Gio (Vanny) had his best game for a while and was very efficient and a man on the boards, tonight. Overall, I was pleased with the win on the road and a great team effort,” said Miller.

Belhaven managed to tie the game at 45 early in the second half with 16:06 left to play. However, after a media timeout, the YellowJackets took the wisdom of its second-year head coach and went on a 13-0 run. The Blazers would never be closer than three for the rest of the contest. LeTourneau shot 51.9% (14-for-27) from the field, and Belhaven shot 63.3% (19-for-30) from the field in the second half.

Next, the YellowJackets will close out the home portion of its schedule when they host UT Dallas on Thursday, Feb. 18 at 7:30 p.m. and Ozarks on Saturday, Feb. 20 at 1:00 p.m.

BASEBALL

The LeTourneau University baseball team dropped a 7-3 decision to Centenary and the 13-4 decision to Trinity on Saturday at Conrad-Vernon Field.

The YellowJackets (1-5) started the day, coming back from a 3-0 deficit in the bottom of the eighth to tie it at three before the Gents scored four times in the ninth for the win.

Centenary scored three times on just one hit in the second inning for a 3-0 lead off LeTourneau starter freshman Andrew Harlan. Then, the YellowJackets offense exploded in the eighth with one out. Freshman Aaron Perkins started the rally with a single to the gap in right-center field. He moved to second on a walk by senior Sean Sellers; then, senior Taylor Empkey plated the first run with a double through the left side. The RBI double prompted a Centenary pitching change.

After a strikeout, the Gents intentionally walked senior Brandon Applewhite to load the bases. The YellowJackets took advantage of the situation with the bases loaded when junior Kyle Jacobs brought in Sellers and Empkey to tie the game at 3 with a single up the middle.

Centenary came back in the ninth with four runs on two hits to secure the 7-3 win over the YellowJackets.

Harlan pitched eight solid innings, scattering five hits, five runs (four earned) and struck out one to fall to 0-1 on the season. Applewhite had a pair of hits to lead the seven-hit attack for LeTourneau.

In the second game of the day, Trinity jumped out to a 12-1 lead through the first five innings en route to a 13-4 win. In the loss, the YellowJackets stranded 11 runners on base and used six pitchers.

The Tigers (1-1), who are ranked No. 7 in the first D3baseball.com poll, had 14 hits including three from Austin Singer and two more from a trio of players – Connor Moore, Jeremy Wolf and Drew Butler. Plus, Wolf and Butler had three and two RBIs, respectively. Trinity used five different pitchers in the win including Taylor Hoesen, who came in relief of starter Teddy Turner in the fifth, to pick up the win.

LeTourneau had six hits including a pair from junior Jacob Simmons and Applewhite, Jacobs and Sellers each had an RBI in the loss.

The next action for the YellowJackets is a doubleheader on Saturday, Feb. 20 against the University of Dallas at noon in Irving, Texas.

FRIDAY’S BASEBALL

Texas Lutheran, who is picked to finish second in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference, shut out the LeTourneau University baseball team, 6-0 on Friday night at Conrad-Vernon Field.

Starting pitcher Lincoln Baylor, who pitched 8.1 innings and struck out nine in his first collegiate start, led the Bulldogs (1-0). Baylor benefitted from a pair of double plays to erase LETU threats in the second and seventh inning.

LeTourneau (1-3) junior starter Jordan Carns was the tough-luck loser for the second-straight week. Carns struck out seven in six innings of work allowing a pair of unearned runs in the sixth for his second loss on the season. Offensively, junior Jacob Simmons and senior Dylan Wadyko each had a pair of hits in the loss.

Seven pitches hit the squad and three walks in the win helped the patient TLU team. The bottom third of the order – Austin Frick, Eric Rabinowitz, and Rayce Gatlin – combined for four of the six runs and RBI, plus three of the eight hits in the win to provide ample offensive support for Baylor. Rabinowitz and leadoff batter Colby Schrade each had two hits in the win for the Bulldogs.

LeTourneau will close out the weekend with a pair of games on Saturday, Feb. 13 at 2:00 p.m. against Centenary and at 6:00 p.m. against Trinity.

SOFTBALL

The LeTourneau University softball team split a doubleheader for the second-straight day with Mary Hardin-Baylor. The YellowJackets took game one, 6-5 and dropped the nightcap, 2-1.

The YellowJackets (4-4, 2-1 ASC) pounded out ten hits in the game one win – it is the third time that LETU has had double-digit hits in the young season. In all three occasions, LeTourneau has been victorious. Senior Rachel Gauspohl, sophomore Bailey Woodard, and junior Whitney Judd each had two hits to lead the attack. Both Gauspohl and Woodard had a home run in the win.

LETU senior Kayla Cosby picked up the win and first complete game in her first start as a YellowJacket to improve to 3-0.

The Cru (2-4, 1-2 ASC) had nine hits in the loss and rallied to tie the game at 3 in the third inning until RBI singles in the fourth and fifth innings by freshman Kennedi Dillow and junior Kaitlyn Allen regained the lead for the YellowJackets.

Mary Hardin-Baylor cut the LeTourneau lead to one, 5-4 in the sixth inning; then Gauspohl hit her third home run of the season to stretch the lead to 6-4. The Cru answered with a solo homer in its half of the seventh. With the tying run at the plate, Cosby got a strikeout to end the contest.

In the nightcap, Mary Hardin-Baylor scored twice in the fourth inning as they held off multiple threats by the LeTourneau offense, who stranded seven runners on base in the 2-1 loss.

The Cru ended the scoreless game in the fourth when Haley Rhine tripled in Hannah Parker, who had reached on a one-out single for a 1-0 lead for UMHB. Then, Rhine came in to score on a single by Kourtney Cummings for a 2-0 advantage.

LeTourneau mounted a threat in the sixth inning as they loaded the bases to start the inning. However, UMHB got out of the inning as they got a pair of YellowJackets runners out at the plate on back-to-back ground outs. Again, the YellowJackets had a rally on them as they started the 7th inning with a one-out double by senior Brianna Williams. After a groundout had moved her to third, she came around to score on an RBI single by senior Megan Hill. A fly out to centerfield ended the game and comeback hopes for the YellowJackets.

Sophomore Ashley Burdine was the losing pitcher for LETU despite allowing just five hits, two runs (both earned) and striking out two. Karen Tennis for UMHB went the distance for the Cru fanning three and allowed four hits to improve to 2-1.

Next on the schedule for LETU is a three-game series with local rival East Texas Baptist at the Joyce Family Athletic Village. The series starts on Friday, Feb. 19 at 6:00 p.m. for 90’s Night.

FRIDAY’S SOFTBALL

The LeTourneau University softball team split a doubleheader with host Mary Hardin-Baylor, winning game one – 8-3 and losing game two – 11-2 in five innings.

The YellowJackets (3-3) overcame an early 1-0 deficit to score eight unanswered runs including five in the fifth inning en route to the 8-3 win. Senior Megan Hill went 3-for-4 with three RBI to lead a 10-hit attack for the YellowJackets and senior reliever Kayla Cosby went the final six innings, allowing six hits and striking out six to raise her record to 2-0.

The Cru (1-3) scored an unearned run in the first inning for an early 1-0 lead.

LeTourneau tied it in the third inning when freshman Kennedi Dillow brought in a sophomore Bailey Woodard on a line out. Then, the YellowJackets took their first lead of the doubleheader when junior Whitney Judd hit a triple to score Woodard in the fifth inning for a 2-1 lead. Hill drove in Judd with an RBI single; then, later in the inning, ASC Co-Hitter of the Week Rachel Gauspohl hit her second home run of the season – a three-run blast that put LETU ahead 6-1. Hill drove in two more in the sixth inning to stretch the lead to 8-1 before the Cru plated a run each in the 6th and 7th to close out the contest.

In the nightcap, Mary Hardin-Baylor had ten hits and took advantage of five errors by LETU. Lead Brown had three hits and Karley Free and Bailey Bohlken each had two in the win. Free drove in four and was one of three Cru, who scored twice in the win. The four hits in the loss limited the YellowJackets’ loss.

LETU took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on a Gauspohl RBI single. Mary Hardin-Baylor answered with four runs in its half of the first for a 4-1 lead.

An RBI single by sophomore Kelsie Benson in the third cut the deficit to two, 4-2 before a seven-run fifth inning by UMHB ended the contest. In the inning, the Cru capitalized on three errors by LETU and a two-run home run by Kourtney Cummings to start the inning.

The two teams will wrap up the weekend series with another doubleheader on Saturday, Feb. 13 at 1 p.m.

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

The LeTourneau University women’s basketball team dropped a 63-59 decision to host Belhaven University on Saturday in Jackson, Mississippi.

The YellowJackets (14-9) were held to 27.5% (19-for-69) shooting from the field. Despite the loss, junior LaTanya Drakes (11 points, 11 rebounds) and senior Ashley Stephens (12 points, ten rebounds) each had a double-double to lead LeTourneau. Crystal Jones scored a team-high 15 to lead LeTourneau.

The Blazers (7-16) shot 42.9% from the field in the win as they led from start to finish. The 42.9% effort is the second-highest effort in the season for Belhaven. Sierra Pittman led Belhaven with a game-high 23 points – 11 of which came from the free-throw line.

When LETU junior guard Alexandria Burroughs tied the game at 4 with 6:48 left in the opening quarter, Belhaven outscored LETU by an 11-1 margin for the rest of the opening quarter for a 15-5 lead after the first 10 minutes. The Blazers remained in front for the remainder of the game, building a lead as large as 19 in the early moments of the second half.

A resilient LeTourneau squad cut the deficit to two, 54-52 when junior Jada Roberts made a jumper with 2:38 left in the game. Belhaven scored three unanswered points to stretch the lead to five, but the YellowJackets still had a fight in them. With 0:21 left, Jones hit a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to two, 61-59 but Pittman sealed the win and made a pair of free throws sealing the win.

Next, the YellowJackets will wrap up the home portion of its schedule when they host UT Dallas on Thursday, Feb. 18 at 5:30 p.m. and Ozarks on Saturday, Feb. 20 at 1:00 p.m.