TYLER, Texas – It would take overcoming multiple second-half deficits, foul trouble for two key starters, and a 19-point, 14-rebound performance by junior Christian Seidl for the LeTourneau University men’s basketball team to walk away with a win. It occurred at the Herrington Patriot Center with a 93-86 road victory over the University of Texas-Tyler Patriots on Thursday, February 1.
Winners of five straight, LETU is now 17-3 overall and 11-2 in the American Southwest Conference while the Patriots have lost three straight games to fall to 13-7 overall and 6-7 in the ASC.
“The difference tonight came down to the guys sticking together despite facing a few obstacles, and that’s what it’s all about on a night like tonight,” said head coach Dan Miller in a post-game interview. “I am extremely proud of Christian Seidl for coming off the bench and getting 15 rebounds (nine offensive), and we had a stretch in the middle part of the first half where we had a lot of turnovers which was tough.” “Even guys like Javaughn Dantzler who had to play out of position came in and did an excellent job.” “UT-Tyler is a great, well-coached team and they have great personnel, so it took everything we had to get two wins over them this year.”
Turnovers would not be an issue for either team as the YellowJackets would limit their turnovers to just seven in the game compared to 10 for UTT while holding 12-11 points off turnovers advantage. A massive 60-34 lead in points in the paint for the Patriots would not be enough for the victory as LeTourneau sniped in eight-of-24 three’s which included four from senior guard Alec Colhoff.
Colhoff finished the game with 18 points and becomes the first player in LETU history to hit 200 triples in a career, setting the career record on his second try of the night. Sophomore Nate West led the YellowJackets with 20 points, nine, rebounds, and six assists while also going a perfect six-for-six from the line. Justin Moore added 18 points while junior Caleb Loggins had 10 points and five rebounds.
The weekend road swing will conclude on Saturday when LeTourneau travels to take on the University of the Ozarks at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 3. Earlier this season, LETU picked up an 86-64 win over the Eagles inside of Solheim Arena.
TYLER, Texas – After avoiding the early slow start that made the difference in their game just five days earlier, the LeTourneau University women’s basketball team found themselves snake bitten by 23 turnovers which led to 28 Texas-Tyler points in aN 89-80 loss at the Herrington Patriot Center in Tyler on Thursday, February 1.
With five games left in the regular-season, LETU is now 3-17 overall and 0-13 in the American Southwest Conference while the host Patriots picked up their 13th win of the year to improve to 13-7 and 8-4 in the ASC.
“Turnovers and fouls were the difference tonight, and we just haven’t been able to get past that,” said head coach Cassi Rozanski in a post-game interview. “I am extremely proud of the girls following a tough week of practice as they responded well but just didn’t have enough tonight.” “We played a different lineup tonight and played better defense, but when you ask six or seven players to go the entire game, it tends to catch up to you.”
LeTourneau would set season-highs in points and field goal percentage on the night (31-for-63, 49.2 percent) while also holding a 33-25 rebounding advantage. Texas-Tyler shot 51.6 percent (32-of-62) from the floor and used a 19-for-21 performance from the free throw line as LETU would get just 11 attempts from the charity stripe (nine-of-11).
All five YellowJackets starters found themselves in double-figures, led by a career-high 26 points from junior Jaila Leaven. Leaven also had nine rebounds and three assists while freshman Keauna Whitfield and senior Savannah Cummings each pitched in 14 points. Senior Ashley Reed knocked down three triples to move into fifth place on the all-time three-point charts at LETU passing Crystal Jones (2015-17) while scoring 12 points in the game and had one steal to go along with five assists. Carissa Spiker carried UTT with 25 points, who also had seven rebounds, five assists, and three steals.
In the game in Longview, LeTourneau saw 15 of the first 16 points in the game scored by the Patriots but would flip the script tonight by scoring nine of the first 11 points of the game with four different players each getting a bucket in the opening minutes. The four-for-six shooting effort to start the game allowed for LeTourneau to hold onto the lead for most of the first quarter, leading by as many as seven before seeing the Patriots tie the game at 16-16 with 2:14 remaining in the quarter. Nine straight points by UTT gave Texas-Tyler a seven-point cushion at 23-16 with just over 30 seconds left in the opening period, but Reed would find an open Thorne who hit a three right before time expired to pull LETU back within four at 23-19.
The quarter that would give LeTourneau the most problems would wind up being the second quarter as the Patriots would push their lead to seven on a turnover and layup with 7:51 left in the first half, as LETU would find themselves trading two-point baskets for three’s by the Patriots. UTT’s lead would grow to 11 at 39-28 with 6:03 remaining before halftime but would fight their way back to close within five at 41-36 following a Leaven layup in the final minute of action. A three-point play for Bianca Valderrama of the Patriots ended the half as LETU managed to trail by only eight at the break.
A refreshed YellowJacket squad would make a push to open up the second half and close to within three following a Whitfield jumper at 47-44 three minutes into the half, but coupled by a 2:19 scoring drought for LETU the Patriots had a 10-0 run. Despite trailing by double-digits, LeTourneau would close the quarter out on a 6-2 run and trail 69-60 going into the fourth.
The fourth-quarter deficit would never grow any more significant than 12 for the YellowJackets as Leaven, and Cummings would start to take control of LETU. It would appear that LeTourneau would begin to make their run as a pair of Cummings free throws with 7:25 left in the game brought LETU within five at 71-66. Leaven knocked in her third three of the game right before the final media timeout of the game to once again get the YellowJackets within two possessions at 78-72, but one last big push for UTT gave the Patriots an 85-73 lead. LeTourneau responded with seven of the next nine points, but it would be too late as Texas-Tyler added a late pair of free throws to close out the nine-point victory.
Leg two of a three-game road swing is on Saturday as the YellowJackets travel to Clarksville, Arkansas to take on University of the Ozarks starting at 2:00 p.m. The Eagles fell by a final of 77-56 to East Texas Baptist at home on Thursday night.