Nate West Goes For 31 As LeTourneau Men Take 85-72 Win Over Millsaps
LONGVIEW, Texas – Back in action for the first time in three weeks, the LeTourneau University men’s basketball team had to fend off a physical and pesky Millsaps squad as junior Nate West would score a game-high 31 points in an 85-72 home victory at Solheim Arena on Saturday, December 29.
LETU closes out non-conference action with a record of 4-3 to run their overall record to 7-4 with American Southwest Conference action resuming next week. Millsaps falls to 8-3 overall and drops their third straight game after starting the 2018-19 campaign with an 8-0 record.
“That was a very physical basketball game against a really good Millsaps team,” said head coach Dan Miller in a post-game interview. “I have a lot of respect for their team, and we had to earn that win.” “We played with excellent ball security in the first half (two turnovers) but the opposite in the second half (10 turnovers).” “We had some tough shots down the stretch and executed which led to an excellent team victory.”
How It Happened:
Setting the tone early on, the YellowJackets would score the first eight points of the game and hold Millsaps scoreless for nearly the first three minutes of the game before seeing two buckets from Matt Owens put the score at 8-4 with 16:17 left in the first half.
Both squads would settle into their style of gameplay as LeTourneau’s lead would hover between three and six points for the next eight minutes of action before a fast-break triple from senior C.J. Bird put LETU up 25-18 with 8:15 left before halftime.
Neither team would make any headway for the following five minutes of action which would leave the LETU lead at eight (33-25) for the final media timeout of the first half with 3:58 remaining.
Out of the timeout, Millsaps would use a 7-2 run to pull within three at 35-32 just 1:07 later, but an 8-2 run from LETU pushed the lead up to nine at 43-34 as the YellowJackets grabbed a 45-36 halftime lead.
Five of the first six made field goals in the second half would come from beyond the arc as both teams would find their range in the opening minutes which allowed the Majors to close within four at 51-47 with 15:56 remaining in the game.
With foul trouble starting to become an issue for the YellowJackets, LETU and Millsaps would endure a 2:29 scoring drought that would be ended on a Seth Mattson runner to put LeTourneau up 53-47 before seeing She’Chem Grant nail a three to make things a one-possession game.
LETU would manage to score four of the next six points to push their lead back to five at 57-52 before seeing Justin Moore connect on back-to-back triples that would give LeTourneau a double-digit lead at 62-53 with just over 10 minutes left in the game.
The YellowJackets would maintain their double-digit for the next three-plus minutes of the game before seeing a pair of layups by Millsaps pull the Majors back within seven at 69-62.
Despite the quick spurt by the Majors, LETU would manage to maintain their lead as West took control in the final 4:25 by outscoring Millsaps 7-6 in the last 4:25 which allowed the YellowJackets to pull away for their third-straight double-digit victory.
Nearly half of LETU’s 13-point victory would come from a 16-8 advantage in points off turnovers as the YellowJackets would force 19 turnovers from the Majors.
Three-point shooting would also prove to be on point for LeTourneau throughout the game as LETU connected on 10-of-25 (40 percent) of their shots beyond the arc.
Earning a triple-double and finishing just two points shy of tying a career-high, West led all scorers with 31 points which included a perfect seven-of-seven mark at the charity stripe. Moore nearly set a new career-high of his own, scoring 25 points and grabbing four rebounds while Caleb Loggins added 10 points and four blocks.
A season-long five-game homestand continues Thursday, January 3rd when the Hardin-Simmons Cowboys come to town for a 7:30 p.m. matchup in ASC action. HSU will enter Thursday’s contest with a record of 7-6 overall but currently sits in second place in the ASC West with a conference mark of 2-2.
LeTourneau Women’s Basketball Denies Late-Game Comeback To Claim 54-51 Victory Over Millsaps
LONGVIEW, Texas Leading for nearly 32 minutes of the game, the LeTourneau University women’s basketball team was able to hold off a late Millsaps College rally to claim a 54-51 in their second consecutive non-conference matchup on Saturday, December 29.
With the win, the YellowJackets improve to 3-9 overall while the Majors fall to 9-2 overall.
“It was a solid team effort to grind this win out against a very good Millsaps team,” said head coach Cassi Rozanski in a post-game interview. “I think the game is a glimpse of what we can be when we play hard, smart and together!” “We have to build on this moving forward, but I’m proud of our girls and the way that they competed today.”
How it Happened:
Finding a pair of open layups, the Majors jumped to a quick 4-0 lead to start the first quarter. The Yellowjackets were able to score four straight points from Keauna Whitfield who evened the score at 6-6 with 5:50 left in the first period.
Deadlocked again at eight, the LETU established their offense to end the quarter with layups from Faith Hudson and Whitfield to give them a 12-8 lead heading to the second quarter.
Millsaps would be the first to get on the board in the second quarter eventually tying the contest at 14 before seeing the YellowJackets answer with a Claudia Moonsammy triple.
Momentum on both the offensive and defensive side for LeTourneau would continue for the duration of the first half as the YellowJackets grabbed a 22-15 halftime lead.
It would once again be Millsaps who would strike first to start the third quarter, but a steady offensive output from LETU would result in the biggest lead of the game for the YellowJackets when a layup from Whitfield with 5:10 left to play made it 31-21 in favor of LeTourneau.
The Majors showed some life late in the third as they managed to close within four points before facing a six-point deficit after three quarters.
Back to back 5-0 runs by both teams to start the fourth quarter left the score at 47-39 in favor of the YellowJackets which would set the tone heading into the final minutes of the game.
The Majors weren’t ready to go down without a fight as they quickly erased a four-point shortage with five straight points after a layup, steal and a hoop plus free throw put them ahead 48-47 with 3:28 remaining.
Chauntel Acosta put the YellowJackets back on top with a shot from behind the arc as LETU reclaimed the lead at 50-48 as the game would feature just two lead changes. Millsaps would see one more good opportunity trailing by one with 12 seconds to go, but Whitfield sealed the deal with a steal and layup as time expired to allow the YellowJackets to claim a 54-51 victory and avenge a loss earlier this season to the Majors.
Whitfield finished with a double-double after scoring 13 points and grabbing a team-best 12 rebounds for the YellowJackets. Alexandria Thorne would record a team-high 14 points in the victory while Acosta scored six points and added four assists.
LETU shot 33.9 percent (21-of-62) from the field, compared to a 19-for-54 (35.2 percent) output from Millsaps.
Sinking six three-pointers, the YellowJackets held a 12-point advantage in three-pointers as they connected on six-of-17 (35.3 percent) of their attempts.
LETU will return to American Southwest Conference play as they face Hardin-Simmons University in a 5:30 matchup on Thursday, January 3rd in Longview, Texas. The Cowgirls will enter Thursday’s game holding an 8-4 overall record, coming off a 67-66 victory over nationally-ranked Texas-Dallas on December 18th.
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