Late Rally Runs Out of Time For LeTourneau Men’s Basketball At Texas-Dallas
RICHARDSON, Texas – Trailing by nine points with 1:11 remaining in the game, the LeTourneau men’s basketball would close within a single point at 87-86 before running out of time to complete a comeback in an 89-86 road loss at the University of Texas-Dallas at the UTD Activity Center in Richardson, Texas on Saturday, January 12.
The loss drops LETU back to 9-6 overall and 5-3 in the American Southwest Conference while the Comets take sole possession of second place in the ASC East at 6-2 and move to an overall record of 12-3.
“Texas-Dallas came out more physical and simply played better than us in the first half, and I give them credit,” said head coach Dan Miller in a post-game interview. “I was proud of our guys for fighting back and playing all the way to the last buzzer in a one-possession game.” “We didn’t do a good job on the boards tonight and had too many first-half turnovers.” “We will get back to work and be ready for next week.”
How It Happened:
UTD came out looking to make a statement against the YellowJackets early on and would score the first four points of the game before LETU would get on the board with a Christian Seidl free throw.
Caleb Loggins would then get in on the scoring with a jumper in the paint to cut the LeTourneau deficit down to one before the YellowJackets took what amounted to their only lead of the game at 5-4 on a Seidl bucket with 16:52 remaining in the first half.
After the five straight points for LeTourneau, Texas-Dallas would score 14 consecutive points while forcing a pair of LeTourneau timeouts as the Comets opened an 18-5 lead just over three minutes after trailing the YellowJackets.
The double-digit lead for UTD would continue as LETU would be unable to cut into the Comet lead before seeing Texas-Dallas take their largest lead of the afternoon at 33-14 with 8:07 left before halftime.
Needing a spark to get back in the game, junior Nate West and freshman Elijah Gerber would combine to score the next 12 points for LeTourneau before a C.J. Bird triple would force a Comet timeout with the deficit cut to 12 at 41-29.
LeTourneau would avoid allowing UTD to make any other runs for the rest of the first half and would get a Gerber layup as time expired to trail 48-38 at halftime thanks in part to a four-of-four shooting performance from Gerber (nine points).
Getting out in transition would key the LETU offense to six straight points to open the second half and close within four at 48-44 just 75 seconds into the second period, but the YellowJackets would be unable to close any closer as the Comets pushed their lead back out to nine at 59-50 with 15:37 remaining.
Texas-Dallas would eventually push their lead back out to double-digits at 68-57 before seeing an 8-2 LeTourneau run pull LETU back within five at 70-65 with 7:53 left in the game.
UTD would respond with seven consecutive points of their own to go up 12 and threaten to break the game open again with 5:10 left before a Loggins free throw and a West triple on the fast break brought the lead back down under double-digits heading into the final 4:25 of play.
The three would spark West as the junior would three more triples down the stretch as LeTourneau would cut an 85-76 deficit down to 85-83 with 17 seconds remaining.
Following two Texas-Dallas free throws, West would come down and hit a 25-foot three to close the deficit to one at 87-86 with 6 seconds remaining to give the YellowJackets a chance regardless of the outcome of a pair of UTD free throws.
Dimitrius Underwood would connect on a pair of free throws for the Comets with 4.2 seconds remaining to put Texas-Dallas back up three at 89-86 as a desperation three from just across half court at the buzzer would fall short for LETU.
A 46-31 advantage in rebounding for UTD would allow the Comets to hold a 13-0 lead in second-chance points as the YellowJackets would also see a 15-9 deficit in points off turnovers prove to be the difference in the game.
Three-point shooting would also be problematic throughout for LETU as they would finish with a 35.7 percent (10-of-28) mark from beyond the arc while shooting 46.2 percent (30-for-65) from the field.
Scoring 10 of his team-best 26 points in the final minute of the game, West would also add seven rebounds and seven assists while Loggins would score 21 points and five assists to go along with three blocks.
Seidl (13 points, seven rebounds) and Justin Moore (eight points, three assists, three rebounds) would also see heavy minutes in the game with four of LETU’s five starters playing at least 30 minutes.
Sporting a 7-7 overall record and 4-4 mark in the ASC, Belhaven will come to Longview to take on LeTourneau for a 7:30 p.m. clash on Thursday, January 17. The game will be the first road game for Belhaven since December 15, with the Blazers holding just a 1-4 overall record away from home.
LeTourneau Women’s Basketball Falls In Road Contest At Texas-Dallas
RICHARDSON, Texas – In an action for their only game of the week, the LeTourneau University women’s basketball team saw early shooting struggles prove to be too much overcome in an 85-42 road defeat to the University of Texas-Dallas at the UTD Activity Center in Richardson, Texas on Saturday, January 12.
LeTourneau now sits at 4-11 overall and 1-7 in American Southwest Conference play while the Comets improved to 10-4 overall and 5-2 in the ASC.
How It Happened:
Unable to hit on any of their field goal attempts in the first quarter, LETU would fall behind by a score of 9-0 in the opening four minutes of action before getting on the board with an Alexandria Thorne free throw with 5:16 remaining in the quarter.
The free throw would amount to LeTourneau’s only point of the opening period as UTD would continue an efficient first quarter to open a 17-1 lead after one.
Thorne would get the YellowJackets in the scoring column to start the second quarter after seeing the Comets continue to open their lead as LETU would trail 30-3 midway through the second quarter before scoring five of the final 15 points of the period as LETU trailed 40-8 at intermission.
LeTourneau’s offense would begin to click in the third as the YellowJackets managed to score 14 points with Keauna Whitfield and Thorne scoring LETU’s first seven points of the quarter before seeing Chauntel Acosta get in the scoring column with a layup midway through the quarter.
Despite the fight shown by the YellowJackets to open the second half, LeTourneau would face a 60-22 deficit heading to the fourth quarter.
Offensively, LeTourneau would continue to show bright spots throughout the fourth-quarter by scoring their most points of any quarter by putting up a 20-point performance which included two of their four threes’ in the game.
The poor shooting first-half performance would wind up dropping the overall shooting percentage for the YellowJackets who would shoot 47.8 percent (11-of-23) from the field in the second half but finish the game just 14-for-44 (31.8 percent) from the floor.
Second-chance points would be limited for LETU on the day, as LeTourneau would be unable to get to their season average of 12 second-chance points per game by only scoring four compared to 14 for Texas-Dallas.
Thorne would lead the YellowJackets with 16 points and six rebounds while Whitfield narrowly missed out on a double-double by finishing with 10 rebounds and eight points.
LeTourneau will return home to host Belhaven University on Thursday, January 17th where they will look to build off their recent home success. LETU has won two of their past three home games while the Blazers will enter Thursday’s game with a 7-8 overall record and 3-5 mark in the ASC.
Sports Information Director