JACKSON, Miss. – Scoring the final nine points of the game the LeTourneau University women’s basketball team fought back from a late deficit in the last two minutes of the game to come away with a 70-63 road victory over Milsaps College at the Milsaps Classic in Jackson, Mississippi on Saturday, November 25.
LETU improves to 1-2 overall while first-year head coach Cassi Rozanski earned her first career coaching victory. The host Majors dropped to 2-1 overall with the loss.
“Through foul trouble and a close game the whole time, the ladies rallied from behind and did a good job of managing the clock and making smart decisions in a crucial part of the game,” said head coach Rozanski in a post-game interview. “We did not back down and accepted the challenge in front of us and found a way to come out on top.” “I’m proud of the fight we showed and excited about our opportunity to close out the weekend against Huntingdon tomorrow.”
The first quarter saw the YellowJackets jump out to an early 6-0 lead just two minutes into the game as all six points would come on transition layups with LETU pushing the tempo early on. LeTourneau then saw the Majors go on a 7-0 run that gave Milsaps their first lead of the game before eight straight points coming from a couple of Ashley Reed three’s and a Sha’Donnaver Young fast-break layup put LETU back on top by a score of 14-7 with 3:42 remaining in the first quarter. Milsaps continued the trend of runs by ending the period on a 9-0 run to take an 18-17 lead as momentum swings would be a vital part of the first half.
Five lead changes would be seen in first five minutes of the second quarter as no team would be able to open up a lead of more than two heading into the final five minutes of the first half. LETU would take their last point of the first half at 23-22 with 6:47 left in the second on a Jaila Leaven triple as Milsaps would open up a 34-27 lead just three minutes later. LeTourneau would limit the damage done by the Majors down the stretch to keep the game at a five-point deficit at intermission as Taylor Abbe would hit LETU’s fourth three of the half to leave the score at 38-33.
Milsaps used their five-point lead to their advantage to open up the second half as LETU never would be able to reclaim the lead in the third quarter despite closing the gap to three or less on three separate occasions. LeTourneau would emphasize scoring points in the paint in the third period, scoring three of their first four buckets in color on layups before using treys from Keauna Whitfield and Reed to get within a single point at 49-48 heading into the fourth quarter.
A quick start to the fourth saw the YellowJackets score the first five points of the final frame to reclaim a 53-49 lead with 7:53 remaining and hold their lead for the next five-plus minutes. Milsaps would threaten to close the gap on multiple occasions, but LeTourneau would manage to hit timely shots including a Whitfield jumper to extend the lead to 61-55 with just under three minutes remaining. The Majors would manage to go on a 7-0 run in 32 seconds to take a one-point lead at 62-61 before tacking on a free throw with 1:29 remaining. Reed would hit her fourth three of the game to give LETU the lead for good with 52 seconds left as a pair of technical fouls by Milsaps allowed Whitfield to shoot six consecutive free throws and hit five to secure LETU’s first victory.
Three-point shooting would be on target for the YellowJackets as LETU would go 7-18 (38.9 percent) from beyond the arc while shooting 24-63 (38.1 percent) from the field. LeTourneau took advantage of 23 Milsaps turnovers to net 26 points and make up for a 41-33 rebounding deficit.
Whitfield had herself a career day, scoring a game-high 32 points and pulling in eight rebounds while also recording four steals while Reed scored 13 points. Leaven added nine points while Young scored seven points and added four rebounds off the bench.
LETU will close out the Milsaps classic on Sunday at 1 p.m. when the YellowJackets take on Huntingdon College in the Hangar Dome. The Hawks were 73-60 victors over Louisiana College on Saturday afternoon behind a game-high 27 points from Brooke Jones.
SHREVEPORT, La. – A Christian Seidl three-pointer with seven seconds remaining lifted the LeTourneau University men’s basketball team to a 77-74 road win over Centenary College inside the Gold Dome in Shreveport, Louisiana on Saturday, November 25.
With the victory, LETU improved to 3-1 overall on the year while the host Gents fell to 2-2 overall with both losses coming at home.
A quick start by the YellowJackets saw the first seven points, and nine of the first 12 points in the game scored by LeTourneau as three fast-break layups and a Justin Moore three would put LETU up 9-3 just six minutes into the game. The lead would continue to grow for LETU throughout the first half with the YellowJackets taking a double-digit lead at 16-6 with 10:49 remaining in the first half on a Caleb Loggins layup before Seidl would nail a triple to make the score 19-6.
Following their largest lead of the first half at 27-13 with 7:40 remaining in the first period, LeTourneau would see Centenary College chip away over the next four minutes of game action. They cut the lead back down to single digits before seeing the score cut to 33-31 on a Travion Kirkendoll three with 1:59 remaining before the half. A Loggins free throw followed by a Cedric Harris jumper in the paint would close out the half as LETU would take a 34-33 at the half.
Centenary would manage to snag their first lead of the game on the opening basket of the second half, and they traded that with LeTourneau one more time before a Nate West three allowed LETU to reclaim the lead at 39-37. The YellowJackets would continue their three-point barrage with a Moore three with 14:56 remaining in the game to go up by a score of 48-41 with momentum swinging in favor of LeTourneau.
A 10-2 run over the next 1:46 gave the Gents the lead once again at 51-50 on a three-point play by Raylon Hardy as Centenary College would start to flip the momentum back in their favor. LeTourneau would face their most massive deficit of the game at 63-57 with seven minutes remaining following a 12-4 Gents run before a pair of West free throws ended the run.
An Alec Colhoff layup followed by West jumper with 4:42 remaining tied the game at 65 before another quick 5-0 spurt by Centenary allowed the Gents to reclaim a 70-65 lead heading into the final three minutes of action. LETU responded by going on an 8-0 run of their own to take a 73-70 lead before Centenary would take their last lead of the game at 74-73 and 55 seconds away from victory. Colhoff would grab an offensive rebound on a missed three by West with 48 seconds left and get fouled, which allowed the senior to hit one of two free throws and tie the game at 74.
Seidl would once again come up with a big play, forcing a turnover by Harris to give LETU the ball back with 32 seconds remaining. The YellowJackets would work the ball around the perimeter when West would find Seidl for an open three that would give LeTourneau a 77-74 lead with seven seconds remaining. Hardy would put up a game-tying three-point attempt at the buzzer for the Gents but would wind up missing the shot to allow LETU to come away with the win.
“I was proud of the guys for facing adversity on the road and finding a way to come out with the win,” said head coach Dan Miller in a post-game interview. “We gave up too many second shots and must do a better job of rebounding and improving our ball security.” “Down the stretch, Alec Colhoff grabbed a key offensive rebound, Christian Seidl had a big steal and a three while Nate West had a key assist.” “It was great to get an assisted basket on the winning shot and win on a situation that we practice every day.”
LeTourneau managed to shoot 28 of 58 (48.3 percent) from the floor and hit eight of 20 (40.0 percent) of the three’s they attempted in the game. Centenary out-rebounded LETU by a margin of 38-29, but gave up 20 points to the YellowJackets on 16 turnovers and allowed 16 fast-break points to LeTourneau.
Moore put up a 20-plus point effort for the fourth straight game, finishing with a career-high 24 points and pulled in seven rebounds while West pitched in 15 points and had three assists. Colhoff also grabbed seven caroms while scoring nine points to match Caylab Herrera who also had nine points.
The American Southwest Conference opener for LeTourneau will take place on Thursday, November 30th at 7:30 p.m. from Solheim Arena when the YellowJackets host Mary Hardin-Baylor. LETU was picked to defend their ASC East crown in the preseason coaches poll while the Cru was picked to finish third in the ASC West.
COMMERCE, Texas – Shooting woes throughout combined with 42 points in the paint by host Texas A&M-Commerce would lead to a 102-47 loss for the LeTourneau University women’s basketball at the Field House in Commerce, Texas on Wednesday, November 22.
LETU is now 0-2 after having played only their second game entering the second week of the season while the NCAA Division II Lions improved to 3-2 overall.
In the first quarter, TAMU-Commerce would use both their inside and outside game to their advantage, hitting three triples in addition to adding two buckets in the paint to jump out to an early 15-6 lead midway through the quarter. A six-minute, 27-second scoring drought would be the most significant issue that the YellowJackets faced in the first quarter, as a Savannah Cummings jumper ended the drought with 38 seconds left to trail by a score of 31-8.
Things would not fare much better for LETU in the second quarter as the Lions would continue to feast on transition layups to extend their lead. LeTourneau would manage to score 13 points in the second quarter, trailing by a score of 63-24 at intermission. Junior Karley Patterson would lead LETU with nine points at the half on four of seven shooting while also snagging three rebounds.
LETU’s best scoring quarter would come in the third quarter as the YellowJackets would keep the pace early on with the Lions as Cummings and Alexandria Thorne along with Jaila Leaven would all hit open shots in the opening minutes of the second half to keep the deficit where it was at halftime. LeTourneau managed to score 16 points in the third, before going cold in the fourth quarter as TAMU-Commerce would put the game away.
“We did not bring enough energy to be competitive against Texas A&M Commerce, an excellent NCAA Division II team,” said head coach Cassi Rozanski in a post-game interview. “I hope we learn from these tough games and move forward as we get ready to take on two NCAA Division III teams this weekend at the Milsaps Classic.”
LETU finished the game just 21 of 58 from the field (36.2 percent) and made only one shot from behind the three-point line (1 of 9, 11.1 percent) compared to 35 of 68 (51.5 percent) shooting from TAMU-Commerce who also hit 14 three’s (14-27, 51.9 percent). The Lions scored 42 points in the paint and had 18 fast break points while LeTourneau scored 26 points in the paint and had nine-second chance points.
Patterson finished with 13 points and had five total rebounds to go along with one steal while Leaven also ended up in double-figures with 10 points and three rebounds. Cummings matched Patterson for the team lead with five rebounds while Taylor Abbe recorded one block. Courtney Fields lead Texas A&M-Commerce with 29 points on 9-10 shooting from beyond the arc.
The YellowJackets will continue their season-opening four-game road swing by playing two games in the Milsaps University Thanksgiving Classic starting Saturday. LETU will play host Milsaps College at 3:00 p.m. in the Hangar Dome in Jackson, Mississippi.