TRACK AND FIELD
DALLAS, Texas – Due to unforeseen circumstances for the Dunamis Sports Group, the Dunamis Sports Group Indoor Invitational that was scheduled to have the LeTourneau University track and field team compete as a sports program for the first time in school history has been canceled by Dunamis Sports Group.
The meet was scheduled to serve as the season-opening meet for a host of schools including the YellowJackets, who were looking to make history by having their first athletes compete in a sanctioned NCAA event for the new program. Athletes Nate Berlandier, Stanley Williams, Alex Hindman, Austin Parrish and Ro Galloway were all scheduled to compete in various events at the meet. They now have to wait to help make program history on Saturday, January 13.
LeTourneau will now look forward to the Leonard Hilton Memorial Invitational hosted by the University of Houston on Saturday, January 13. The meet will serve as the new official start to the LETU track and field program, which will compete 15 meets this year across the indoor and outdoor seasons.
LONGVIEW, Texas – All five LeTourneau University men’s basketball starters managed to finish the game in double figures as the YellowJackets would earn a 97-86 home win over the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor at Solheim Arena in Longview, Texas on Thursday, November 30.
The game, which served as the American Southwest Conference opener for both teams, saw LETUimprove to 5-1 overall and 1-0 in the ASC while the Cru dropped their second game of the year to fall to 4-2 overall and 0-1 in ASC play.
LeTourneau would trail for a total of 2:09 in the game, jumping out to a 7-2 lead on a Caleb Logginslayup before relinquishing the lead to UMHB at the 12:38 mark in the first half. The Cru took their largest lead of the game at 12-9 on a layup with 12:08 remaining in the first half but would see the YellowJackets tie the game at 14-14 on a Seth Mattson three and again at 16-16 following a Justin Moore layup. Moore’s layup ignited a 10-0 LETU run that gave the YellowJackets a 24-16 lead with just over eight minutes remaining in the first half that then became double digits one minute later on a Nate West trey (29-17).
LeTourneau’s first-half offensive explosion carried into the final six minutes of the opening period as LETU managed to eclipse the 50-point mark and take a 52-37 lead into the break while hitting five of their 18 first-half shots from three-point range.
A stingy UMHB team would show no quit in them as LeTourneau’s largest lead of the game of 18 points would quickly be erased to single-digits four minutes into the second half. The YellowJacket lead would hover between eight and 11 points for the better part of the next five minutes of play before a 7-1 run put LETU back up by their halftime margin of 15 at 77-62 with 10:44 remaining.
It would appear as though LeTourneau would get the opportunity put the game away with just over seven minutes remaining following a Loggins jumper to go up 81-64, but the Cru would once again respond by getting the lead back down to 10 with 5:08 left in the game.
LETU’s lead would get as few as seven following a pair of LaKendric Hyson free throws with 1:41 remaining in the game. However, free throws down the stretch would seal the victory for the YellowJackets as LeTourneau managed to go 11-14 from the charity stripe in the second half which included a 9-10 mark in the final 1:25 of regulation.
“UMHB is a good team and I never really felt good knowing we would have the win until the final buzzer sounded,” said head coach Dan Miller in a post-game interview. “Our guys battled hard on the boards tonight, and I felt that was the difference in the game.” “This was a good win for us, and I’m happy for our guys who showed a lot of toughness tonight.” “Late in games it’s not easy to put teams away, but we did enough with rebounds and free throw shooting.”
Both teams would limit their turnovers tonight as UMHB committed just 11 compared to nine for LeTourneau, but the YellowJackets used a 15-5 advantage in points off turnovers that would prove to be the difference in the game. The rebounding margin would be 51-39 in favor of LETU, who picked up 16 offensive rebounds leading to 16-second-chance points and scored 40 of their 97 points in the paint.
A team-high 21 points from Colhoff to go along with five boards let LeTourneau as Moore recorded his second double-double with 19 points and ten rebounds. The 19 points mark the first time in his career that the freshman has been held under the 20-point mark while Loggins and West both added 17 points. Caylab Herrera rounded out the five starters in double-figures, scoring 14 points and grabbing four rebounds while adding one assist. UMHB was led by a game-high 24 points from Hyson with 21 of the 24 points coming in the second half.
Saturday will be a crucial game for the YellowJackets when the Tornadoes of Concordia University Texas comes to town. Preseason favorites to win the ASC West Division, CTX lost an 84-81 road game to East Texas Baptist University on Thursday night.
LONGVIEW, Texas – American Southwest play opened up for the LeTourneau University women’s basketball team as the YellowJackets would fall to the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor by a final score of 85-53 at Solheim Arena in Longview, Texas on Thursday, November 30th.
LETU falls to 1-4 overall and 0-1 in the ASC while the visiting Crusaders improved to 4-1 overall and 1-0 in the ASC.
“Mary Hardin-Baylor played a good game tonight, and I felt like we didn’t have the energy to match them,” said head coach Cassi Rozanski in a post-game interview. “It’s always good to see our offense when they can go on runs and when we do things that we work on we typically are successful on the offensive side.” “This early in the season we can go one of two directions, so I hope we can bounce back and fix our mistakes that we weren’t able to execute on tonight.”
The game would serve as the 2017-18 home opener for LeTourneau, who would fall behind by a score of 10-2 early on in the game before a layup by freshman guard Keauna Whitfield cut the Cru lead down to 10-4 midway through the opening period. LETU would face shooting woes throughout the first quarter, hitting just three shots in the opening 10 minutes of play and going 0-5 from beyond the three-point line as UMHB shot only over 50 percent from the field to take a 25-8 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The offense would start to pick up for the YellowJackets in the second quarter as LETU opened the period by scoring 11 of the first 13 points capped off by a Sha’Donnaver Young layup in the paint with 5:52 remaining in the first half. LeTourneau would not be able to capitalize on the run, however, as Mary Hardin-Baylor would use a 13-0 run of their own to break the game open and lead by a score of 40-19 before the two teams would trade baskets to end the half and put the score at 42-21 in favor of the visiting team. Rebounding would play a significant factor in the first half as UMHB held a 26-16 advantage on the glass and scored eight-second chance points in the opening 20 minutes.
UMHB managed to open up the second half in similar fashion to the way that they ended the first half, scoring 11 straight points after trading buckets with LETU to start the third quarter. Three-point shooting would finally begin to click for the YellowJackets midway through the third as a pair of treys by Whitfield as well as a triple by Ashley Reed, and Savannah Cummings would cut into the Cru lead and bring LETU back to a score of 60-37 heading into the fourth quarter.
LeTourneau would look to make another run to start the fourth quarter after scoring five of the first seven points of the quarter, but UMHB would once again tighten up on defense while utilizing their free throw shooting to extend their lead. The Cru would score 10 of their first 17 points of the fourth quarter at the charity stripe, and manage to pull away for the convincing victory.
Second half shooting would pick up for the YellowJackets who finished 20 of 56 (35.7 percent) from the floor in the game but were able to shoot 11-27 (40.74 percent) in the second half. UMHB managed to hold a 54-38 rebounding edge in the game, collecting 22 offensive rebounds and scoring 28 points in the paint.
Whitfield’s double-double led LETU. He finished the game with 16 points and 11 rebounds while Young also wound up in double-figure points with 12. Madison Mayfield recorded one block in the contest while Jaila Leaven added two steals to go along with four points.
LeTourneau will get a chance to bounce back in their final home game before the turn of the new year when they host Concordia University Texas at 2 p.m. on Saturday, December 2nd. CTX will be looking for their first ASC win of the year following a 68-49 road loss to East Texas Baptist University Thursday night.
TRACK AND FIELD
LONGVIEW, Texas – With anticipation building since the announcement made by LeTourneau University President Dr. Dale Lunsford in January, the LeTourneau University women’s and men’s track and field teams will make history on Friday, December 1st by taking part in the Dunamis Sports Group Invitational in Frisco, Texas.
The meet will serve as the first in program history for the YellowJackets, who will compete in six indoor competitions before starting up the outdoor season on Saturday, February 24th at the Trinity University Open in San Antonio, Texas.
Despite piecing together a roster for this fledgling program still in its infancy, head coach Don Hood has seen improvement throughout training that he feels will have the YellowJackets sneak up on some schools this year. “We’ve had a lot of kids who have come in and worked hard despite many of them having never participated in track and field before,” said Hood when asked about what he has seen so far in training. “We have some athletes that should compete at a very high level right out of the gates, and I’m anxious to see just how well our athletes compete.” “Even those that haven’t participated in track before have shown a ton of improvement and are learning how things work on the track which has been pleasing to see.” “This year will truly be a year to help set the foundation for a program and help get this program up and running which will pay dividends in the years to come.”
Two athletes, in particular, to watch for this year for LETU will be sprinter Ro Galloway for the women and pole vaulter Alex Hindman on the men’s side. Galloway was a member of the 4×200 meter relay, state championship team, at Liberty-Eylau High School in Texarkana, Texas and helped win three district championships in the 4×100 meter relay. Galloway was also the 2014 and 2017 area runner-up in the 100-meter dash for the Leopards. Hindman found success on the track at Seminole High School in Seminole, Texas where he finished in fourth place at the UIL 4A State Track Meet with a pole vault of 15 feet 6 inches. Hindman will also compete in the javelin during the outdoor season.
In total, LeTourneau will take part in 16 meets (six indoor, ten outdoor), not including the possibility of having athletes qualify for the NCAA National Meets. The YellowJackets will take part in their first American Southwest Conference Outdoor Championship meet in April out in Abilene, Texas against eight other ASC schools. LETU will add athletes throughout the year, with many on the current roster taking part in other sports at LeTourneau.
Friday’s meet will see a total of five athletes compete in various events, with Nate Berlandier, Stanley Williams, Alex Hindman, and Austin Parrish competing for the men while Ro Galloway will be on the women’s side.
SHERMAN, Texas – The familiarity of the opposition overcame a slow start as the LeTourneau University men’s basketball team managed to take the lead for good. That was midway through the first half to secure a 91-73 road win at Austin College inside the Hughey Gymnasium in Sherman, Texas on Monday, November 27.
Winners of three straight, the YellowJackets are now 4-1 overall this season which includes two wins over the Kangaroos who fall to 2-4 overall.
A much slower start than the first time that the two squads met on the hardwood this year allowed for AC to jump out and score six of the first nine points of the game as freshman Justin Moore would get LETU on the board with a three at the 18:13 mark. Following a layup and foul to put the ‘Roos up by a score of 9-3, LeTourneau would score two straight buckets to cut the lead down to 9-7 but see Austin College respond by taking their largest lead of the game at 13-7 with 15:14 remaining in the first half.
Things would finally break in favor of the YellowJackets towards the midway point of the first half as LETU would take advantage of a 14-0 run to open up a 21-13 lead while holding Austin College scoreless for nearly five minutes of game action and go almost six minutes between field goals. The LETU lead grew to 13 on an offensive rebound and put back by senior Caylab Herrera which would then be followed up by an 8-0 run by the ‘Roos who pulled back within five at 29-24.
LeTourneau’s offensive attack didn’t finish them in the first half. They scored 15 points in the final 4:37 of the opening period to push their lead back out to 44-32 at the break after taking the largest lead of the half at 44-28. It was on a Caleb Loggins layup with just 49 seconds remaining in half. An efficient shooting effort of 18-34 (52.9 percent) from the field would stake the YellowJackets to the halftime lead, while also holding a 27-18 rebounding advantage at intermission.
Austin College would not be as fortunate to open up the second half as LETU scored nine of the first 11 points out of the break to go up by a score of 53-34 just 93 seconds into the half. LeTourneau then extended their lead to 23 points on a pair of Alec Colhoff free throws to put the YellowJackets in full control of the game. The ‘Roos would not go quietly, using a 9-2 run over the next 2:12 to get the game back within 16 at 64-48, but never could find a way to entirely shift momentum back as LETU would push their lead back out to a 20 point margin.
LeTourneau’s largest lead of the game would come with 6:25 left in the game on a Justin Eadeh jumper in the paint to put the YellowJackets up by a score of 85-58 before going on to record their second-straight double-digit victory over the ‘Roos.
“It was not a pretty win as we turned the ball over way too much tonight and came out flat on the road,” said head coach Dan Miller in a post-game interview. “We crashed the offensive glass hard, and Caleb Loggins especially was impressive on the offensive boards.” “We always are pleased when we win, but excited about the work we need to do to improve.”
LeTourneau would overcome an off shooting night from beyond the arc (4-18, 22.2 percent) by finishing 35 of 75 (46.7 percent) from the floor and scoring 24 second-chance points on 20 offensive rebounds. Austin College would not fare any better, shooting just 26-75 (34.7 percent) from the field and hitting 4 of 26 (15.4 percent) of their three-point attempts.
Loggins would lead all players in the game by recording his first double-double of the year with 21 points and a game-high 13 rebounds. Sophomore Nate West had 16 points and five assists to go along with four steals and seven rebounds while Moore finished in double-figures for the fifth straight game (15 points). Hererra would give LeTourneau four players in double-figure point totals after finishing with 10 points and snagging six rebounds. Justice Mercadel who had 21 points and three steals led the Roos.
American Southwest Conference play gets underway for LETU on Thursday evening when the YellowJackets play host to the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor at 7:30 p.m. LeTourneau will be playing at home for just the second time this season and will take on a ‘Cru squad that enters Thursday’s game with a 4-1 overall record.