LeTourneau Men’s Basketball Win Streak Snapped In 98-95 Loss To Hardin-Simmons
LONGVIEW, Texas – In a game that featured seven lead changes and four ties, the LeTourneau University men’s basketball team saw a one-point lead in the final seconds slip through their fingers as visiting Hardin-Simmons University would escape Solheim Arena while handing the YellowJackets a 98-95 defeat in American Southwest Conference action on Thursday, January 3.
LETU now sits at 7-5 overall and 3-2 in ASC action after seeing their four-game winning streak snapped while the Cowboys improved to 8-6 overall and 3-2 in conference play.
“Basketball is like life as you are going to face adversity,” said head coach Dan Miller in a post-game interview. “We had a lot of guys go down with an injury or fouling out, but I was proud of the team for staying strong and fighting for 40 minutes to take the lead late.” “Give credit to Hardin-Simmons for hitting the two big threes’ in the final minute to earn the victory.” “We can’t feel sorry for ourselves as we have to have the next man up mentality and prepare for another game on Saturday.”
How It Happened:
The game would take the shape of a prize fight right away as both teams would trade blows and exchange the first 10 points of the game to put things at 5-5 after 2:07 of action.
HSU would use a 10-2 run to open a 12-7 lead on the YellowJackets who would respond with a layup from Justin Moore and Nate West triple to knot the game at 12-12 at the first media timeout of the game.
Things would continue to be back-and-forth throughout the first half as neither team could grab a lead of larger than two until an 8-0 spurt by LeTourneau put LETU up 23-16 with 12:08 left in the first.
Following a three from Steven Quinn for Hardin-Simmons, LeTourneau would respond with a triple from Moore followed by a fast-break layup from Caleb Loggins which would give the YellowJackets their largest lead of the game at 28-19 with 10:25 left in the first half.
LETU would then manage to fend off the Cowboys for the next several minutes of action and maintain a two-possession lead before a five-point mini-run with 5 minutes left before halftime brought HSU within two at 37-35.
With fouls starting to pile up against starters, LETU would be forced to turn to their bench which allowed Hardin-Simmons to continue to chip away at their deficit to eventually tie the game at 44-44 with 2:43 left in the first half and finally take the lead on a Neal Chambliss layup to give HSU their early lead since the 13:27 mark (16-15).
The half would come to an end with the Cowboys scoring six of the final 10 points that would give them a 52-48 lead at the break with more fireworks yet to come in the second half.
Much like the start of the game, both squads battled back and forth before LETU would see a 9-0 run sparked by a Christian Seidl three to tie the game at 57-57 en route to take a 61-54 lead and forcing a Hardin-Simmons timeout.
LeTourneau would maintain their lead until the 13:56 mark in the second half as Quinn would once again find the hoop on back-to-back layups which gave HSU a 66-63 lead.
Two ties would then be seen before LeTourneau would appear to grab momentum with an 8-0 run that put the YellowJackets up 74-67 at the midway point of the second half, but Hardin-Simmons would refuse to go away by using a 9-0 run to once again take the lead at 76-74.
Things would stay within two points over the next 3:02 of action before LETU would get a pair of layups from Loggins to give the YellowJackets an 86-82 lead after taking advantage of an HSU turnover and missed transition three.
The game would appear to be teetering towards being put on ice as a Seidl steal and layup gave LeTourneau a 95-88 lead with 50 seconds remaining, but it would be Hardin-Simmons who would respond with a three, steal, and a pair of free throws to pull with two at 95-93 with 35 seconds remaining.
After fouling to extend the game, HSU would get a needed break with a missed front-end of a one-and-one opportunity from LETU to reclaim possession which would lead to a triple with 10 seconds remaining to put the Cowboys up one at 96-95.
On the ensuing possession, LETU would turn the ball over but be given a second chance after a bench technical would be called on HSU to provide yellowjackets with one free throw attempt to tie the game.
A tie would not be in the cards however as the free throw would be missed and Hardin-Simmons would manage to hit two free throws after being fouled to claim a 98-95 lead with two seconds remaining. One final last-second heave from the YellowJackets from 35 feet would miss off the back of the rim and allow the Cowboys to escape with their second consecutive victory in Longview.
Foul trouble would loom large throughout the evening for the YellowJackets as both Moore and West would foul out with just over three minutes remaining after combining for 31 points and 12 rebounds.
Both teams would fare well from beyond the arc all night, with Hardin-Simmons connecting on 10-of-19 (52.6 percent) of their triples while LETU knocked down 10 treys in 24 attempts (41.7 percent).
In the absence of two starting guards late, Loggins would carry the load for the YellowJackets by finishing with 25 points, eight rebounds, five blocks, and three steals in 31 minutes of action.
Closing out ASC cross-division action on Saturday, January 5, LeTourneau will play host to McMurry University at 3:00 pm. The War Hawks dropped an 86-69 decision at East Texas Baptist Thursday night.
First-Half Hole Leads To 65-48 Home Defeat For LeTourneau Women’s Basketball
LONGVIEW, Texas- Coming off their best defensive effort of the season, the LeTourneau University women’s basketball team would be unable to overcome a productive offensive performance by Hardin Simmons University in a 65-48 defeat in front of their home crowd at Solheim Arena on Thursday, January 3.
The loss drops the YellowJackets to 3-10 overall and 0-6 in American Southwest Conference play. HSU has now won two straight games to move to 9-4 overall and 3-2 in ASC action.
How It Happened:
It was a sloppy start to the contest as three turnovers were seen between the teams within the first minute of action. The Cowgirls would be the first to regain their composure as they took an early 5-0 advantage over the YellowJackets.
Keauna Whitfield gave LETU their best look of the first quarter at the 6:28 mark when she pulled her team within three points at 8-5 with a layup past her defender. HSU was able to command the offensive side of the ball for the remainder of the period as they broke the game open by scoring 13 of the final 20 points of the period to claim a 21-12 lead heading to the second.
LETU would score only nine points in the second quarter, coming from four different YellowJackets. Defensively they were unable to stop the Cowgirls as a 9-0 Hardin-Simmons run ended the half to put HSU up 40-21.
Alexandria Thorne would score seven of the first nine points of the second half for LETU, but Hardin-Simmons would maintain their lead by matching LeTourneau in the early stages 19 points. Things wouldn’t get much better for the YellowJackets as HSU would take a 56-35 lead to the fourth.
LeTourneau would finally manage to find their stride in the fourth, outscoring the Cowgirls 13-7 in the final 10 minutes of action. Eight of the thirteen points came in the last five minutes of the game as Whitfield and Thorne strung together an eight-point run to end the contest as the rally would ultimately be too little too late.
Thorne led the YellowJackets for the second-straight game with a team-best 14 points and eight rebounds.
Free throw woes would be an issue for LETU as the YellowJackets saw only three of their 12 shots go in while the Cowgirls connected on 11 of their 18 attempts.
The YellowJacket defense would force a total of 21 Hardin-Simmons turnovers which would lead to 14 points on the offensive end in the contest while also adding 13 second-chance points.
The YellowJackets will look to grab their first conference win of the season as they return to action on Saturday, January 5 to take on McMurry University in a 1:00 p.m. matchup. The War Hawks will enter Saturday’s game sitting at 4-10 overall and 1-4 in the American Southwest Conference and are coming off a 79-48 loss at East Texas Baptist University Thursday evening.
Sports Information Director