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LeTourneau University – Sports

MEN’S BASKETBALL

MEMPHIS, TENN. – The LeTourneau University, men’s basketball team, would knock down seven three’s in the first half including four in their first eight shots of the game to down Vassar College by a final score of 79-64 at the Rhodes College Tip-Off Classic inside Mallory Gym in Memphis, Tennessee on Sunday, November 19th.

With the win, LETU finishes their weekend in Memphis with a 1-1 record to improve to 2-1 overall while the Brewers fall to 0-2 overall.

Playing loose from the get-go, LETU traded buckets with the Brewers to start the game before going on a 21-0 run to open up a massive lead just 5:16 into the game. The series would see the YellowJackets hit seven of their first eight shots from the field and knock in four of five three-point attempts as Vassar just could not find a way to stop a potent LeTourneau offense early on.

Being forced out of their original game plan, the Brewers would use a 9-2 run over the next 3:27 of game action to cut the lead down to 25-11, but a pair of Justin Moore free throws would break the spell and put LETU up by a score of 27-11 midway through the first half.

Things would keep rolling for LeTourneau in the latter part of the first half with LETU building their largest lead of the half on a Javaughn Dantzler transition layup with 3:56 remaining in half before taking a 47-25 lead at the break. Rebounding would be vital for the YellowJackets in the first 20 minutes of play, outrebounding the Brewers 22-16 while holding VC to just two-second chance points despite giving up a significant size advantage in the low post.

LeTourneau would open the second half by keeping the Vassar offense in check to take their largest lead of the game at 62-33 on a Caleb Loggins steal and layup as the YellowJackets would be in full control and well on their way to a double-digit victory. Vassar would not go quietly though, using a 14-3 run to cut the lead down to 65-47 as LETU would have a five-minute, 23-second stretch where they would only score three points.

Lock-down defense by the YellowJackets allowed LETU to maintain their 20-plus point lead heading into the later stages of the game as Vassar would go through a scoring drought of their own, netting just three points over the next 4:19 following LeTourneau’s scoring drought. LeTourneau managed to weather one last Vassar push as the Brewers scored five of the first six points out of the final media timeout of the game to cut the lead back down to 73-56 before hanging on to claim the victory in the first-ever meeting between the two schools.

LETU shot 30 of 64 from the field (46.9 percent) after opening the game 18 of 36 (50 percent) in the first half. The YellowJackets utilized an 18-4 advantage in points off turnovers and a 9-5 lead in second-chance points to overcome a 25-4 deficit in bench points as the Brewers also held a 32-28 advantage in points in the paint.

Moore tied a career-high with 21 points to finish the weekend with 42 points while adding four rebounds against the Brewers. Alec Colhoff scored 17 points and had four triples while Nate West had eight points and five assists. Owen Murray leads Vassar with a team-high 15 points and seven rebounds.

LeTourneau will take a six-day break for the Thanksgiving break before traveling to Shreveport, Louisiana to take on Centenary College at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 25.

 

MEN’S BASKETBALL

 

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – A team-high 22 points from sophomore Nate West would not be enough to overcome a three-point shooting barrage from Johns Hopkins University in a 93-84 neutral-site loss at the Rhodes Tip-Off Classic in the Mallory Gym on Saturday, November 18.

LeTourneau now sits at 1-1 overall following the loss while the Blue Jays, who knocked in 14 treys, picked up their second win of the season to improve to 2-0.

JHU would come out of the gates hitting five of their first six shots to stake an early 11-3 lead before a triple by freshman Justin Moore would stop an 11-0 run and pull LETU within five. The Blue Jays would manage to maintain a slim lead over LeTourneau throughout most of the first half until a layup in transition by CJ Bird put the YellowJackets up by a score of 28-27. LETU’s biggest lead of the first half would come at 35-30 with 4:32 before halftime, but the YellowJackets could not capitalize on their run as the Blue Jays would sink two three’s and hit four free throws down the stretch to claim a 43-41 halftime lead.

LeTourneau would again start out slow coming out of the locker room as the two-point JHU lead would become six points at 51-45 before a Caylab Herrera hoop, and free throw cut the lead to 51-48 at the first media timeout of the second half. As part of a 9-0 run, the YellowJackets would take a 55-51 lead on a West layup with 14:03 remaining in regulation, but Johns Hopkins would battle back and force four lead changes in 90 seconds. LeTourneau’s largest lead of the game came at 67-60 with 10:26 left in the game following a 7-0 run by LETU, but a three by Delaney Connor would flip momentum back to JHU who would tie the game at 72-72 just three minutes later.

The game would tie at 78-78 going into the final media timeout of the game with 3:58 remaining when the Blue Jays would hit back-to-back triples to open up a 74-78 lead as part of an 8-0 run heading into the final 1:19. LeTourneau would be forced to play at a quick tempo to try and get back into the game, but it would be too late as the Blue Jays would ice the game at the charity stripe to claim the nine-point victory.

“It was an excellent college basketball game between two teams, and the is that Johns Hopkins executed better in the final four minutes,” said head coach Dan Miller in a post-game interview. “We have to do a better job of taking care of the ball and it’s something we’ve struggled with lately.” “This is a learning experience for us, and we need to be ready tomorrow to play either Rhodes or Vassar.” “We wanted to play downhill and get to the paint, and we did a good job of getting in there, but we didn’t do a good enough job reversing the ball at times.”

JHU hit 14 of their 27 three-point attempts in the game and used a 26-13 advantage in points off turnovers to best the YellowJackets, who scored 30 points in the paint while shooting 28 of 54 from the field (51.9 percent).

In addition to 22 points from West, Moore would add 21 points while Caleb Loggins pitched in 19 points and had two steals. Moore would lead LETU with six rebounds, while Herrera had nine points and three boards. JHU would pick up 23 points each from both Kyle Doran and Michael Gardner to pace the Blue Jays, with Gardner also dishing out five assists.

LeTourneau will return to the court at 12 p.m. in Memphis tomorrow afternoon and will play the loser of Vassar College and Rhodes College.

 

MEN’S BASKETBALL

 

NACOGDOCHES, Texas – Squaring off against their second NCAA Division I school in an exhibition in less than a week, the LeTourneau University men’s basketball team would pull within seven points of Stephen F. Austin early on in the second half. Then they fell to the Lumberjacks by a score of 91-68 at the WRJ Coliseum in Nacogdoches, Texas on Thursday, November 16.

The game does count towards the overall record of Stephen F. Austin, who improves to 3-0 overall while the YellowJackets remain at 1-0 in the regular season and conclude their exhibition schedule against Southland Conference opponents with a 1-1 record.

Long-range shooting would be seen by both squads early on with senior Caylab Hererra getting LETU on the board with a triple before a 7-0 run by the Jacks up 7-3 in the opening minutes. Senior Alec Colhoff would cut the SFA lead to one with a three as LeTourneau would not allow Stephen F. Austin to open up a lead of more than 11 in the opening 10 minutes of the game.

Trailing by a score of 26-13 following a layup by Jovan Grujic, sophomore Nate West would hit LeTourneau’s third three of the first half to pull back within 10 and keep the YellowJackets within striking distance. SFA’s largest lead of the first half came on a layup by TJ Holyfield to put the Lumberjacks up 33-18 with 8:24 remaining in the first half before LETU would fight back to cut the lead to single digits on a Justin Moore jumper in the final two minutes of the half. Stephen F. Austin would tally the last five points of the half to lead by a score of 48-34 at intermission.

Five straight points by LETU to open the second half would quickly bring the deficit back down to nine just 93 seconds into the second half as LeTourneau would keep up their three-point shooting efficiency. A 9-2 run by SFA pushed the lead back out to 57-41 with 15:52 remaining in the game before a second rally by the YellowJackets brought LETU within seven at 57-50 following a Seth Mattson three.

SFA would get back to what worked for them in the first half by utilizing their size advantage over LeTourneau, slowly building their lead up to 20 on a layup by John Comeaux following an LETU turnover with 8:03 remaining in the game as the Lumberjacks would start to pull away. The YellowJackets would find themselves trailing by as many as 28 points late in the second half before a late flurry of points by senior guard Justin Eadeh made the final tally 91-68 in favor of Stephen F. Austin.

“Stephen F. Austin presents a lot of challenges because of their excellent pressure defense,” said head coach Dan Miller in a post-game interview. “We did a good job in spots at handling it but also had some lapses.” “I thought our guys battled hard on defense and I was proud of the way we started the second half to get within 57-50 and in the game.” “However we were bad from the free throw line and had some not so solid possessions that led to turnovers.” “It was a great learning experience for our team, and everybody played in the game and gained valuable experience tonight.”

SFA would shoot an efficient 58.1 percent (36-62) from the floor and hit three triples in each half while the YellowJackets were limited to 46 percent (23-50) shooting from the field while going nine of 20 from beyond the arc (45 percent). Points off turnovers ended up being a 31-17 advantage in favor of the Lumberjacks, who also scored 56 points in the paint.

Four players for LETU would wind up in double-figures led by a team-high 13 points by West who would add two assists. Moore had 12 followed by 11 from Mattson and ten from Colhoff while Caleb Loggins and Colhoff led the YellowJackets with four rebounds each. SFA got a game-high 26 points from Kevon Harris, who also had eight rebounds, two steals, and one block.

LeTourneau will return to regular-season action this weekend, taking part in the Rhodes College Tip-Off Classic sponsored by Four Points by Sheraton. The YellowJackets take on Johns Hopkins at 1 p.m. and Saturday and will play either Vassar College or Rhodes on Sunday afternoon.

Matt Kinney
Sports Information Director