Junior Crystal Jones, who scored a game-high 31 points, led the Yellow Jackets (15-9, 10-4 ASC). Juniors LaTanya Drakes and Jada Roberts, who had 20 and 17 points respectively, joined Jones in double figures.
For Jones, it is her fourth 30-point game of the season and also the fourth time that she has made at least six 3-pointers in a match. Jones tied an LETU single-game record with 29 field-goal attempts. She matched the effort by Tracey Pepper back in the 1995-96 season with 20 of her 31 points coming in the first-half. Drakes pulled down 19 rebounds to record her eighth double-double of the season; plus for Roberts, it was her typical all-around game that supported her career-high scoring effort with six assists and four steals in the win. The 19 rebounds by Drakes is one shy of the LETU single-game record of 20 held by Rhonda Richardson on Jan. 3, 2000 against UMass-Boston.
Micaela Gonzalez, who had a double-double with 23 points and 11 rebounds, led the UT-Dallas Comets (14-10, 6-8 ASC). Kendall Festervand (15 points), Nicolette Erkman (11 points) and Madison Steele (10 points) joined Gonzalez with double-doubles.
“This team found a way again to pull off a big win,” said LETU head women’s basketball coach Leslie Reinecker. “We knew it was going to be a battle for 40 minutes, and we found a way to play through the adversities to finish down the stretch. We focused all week on doing the little things, and we did those when it mattered. We fought hard, and our players made plays at the end.”
LeTourneau found itself behind for the entire first half and late in the third quarter until a put-back attempt by Drakes culminated a 17-5 spurt with 3:20 left in the quarter that put the YellowJackets ahead 53-51. Following the fifth tie of the game, early in the fourth quarter, and an 11-3 run by the YellowJackets that included four points each from Drakes and Roberts put the YellowJackets ahead for the remainder of the game.
The YellowJackets will close out the regular season on Saturday with Senior Day against Ozarks at 1:00 p.m. Officials will recognize Alexandria Burroughs and Ashley Stephens after the game for their contributions to the program, both on and off the court.
An all-around team effort that saw the LeTourneau University men’s basketball team shoot a season-best 54.4% (31-for-57) from the field propelled the YellowJackets to an 87-76 win over UT-Dallas on Thursday in Longview.
Five players in double figures and a bench that outscored its counterparts by a 36-10 margin en route to the 11-point victory, supported the YellowJackets (11-13, 7-7 ASC). Sophomore reserve Sam Talbert scored a team-high 19 to lead the YellowJackets. Also, in double figures were freshman Caleb Loggins, seniors C.J. Edwards and Zakarius Wells, who each had 12 points and sophomore Alec Colhoff added 11.
“Caleb Loggins played strong down low, and that vacuumed the defense and opened up things up for our guards,” said LETU head coach Dan Miller.
Caleb Banks, who scored a game-high 20 including 12-for-16 from the free-throw line, led the Comets (16-8, 8-6 ASC). Jon Hatcher and Ben Smith added 16 and 12 points, respectively.
“I thought we had excellent ball movement all night long,” added Miller. “We did a good job of cutting hard and finding some easy baskets which opened up some things on the perimeter.”
LeTourneau built a 37-35 halftime lead on the strength of its bench, who outscored UT-Dallas 18-0. Talbert came up with 12 of the 18 points to lead the YellowJackets. The first 20 minutes featured three lead changes, and the score tied on five occasions.
The second 20 minutes saw the YellowJackets start the half on 12-1 run and remain in front for the rest of the contest. In the run, four different players scored for the YellowJackets. UTD came back with eight unanswered to close within five, 49-44 but a three-point play by Colhoff regained the momentum for the home team. LeTourneau would build a lead as large as 14 en route to the win.
The YellowJackets will close out the regular season against Ozarks on Saturday at 3:00 p.m. Before the game, LeTourneau will recognize its seniors – C.J. Edwards, Chris Hynes, Giovanny Thompson, Zakarius Wells for their contributions to the program, both on and off the court.