MARSHALL, Texas – The three-headed monster of Caleb Loggins, Nate West, and Justin Moore who combined to score 80 overcame a slow start for the LeTourneau men’s basketball team’s 95 points in a 95-85 road win at East Texas Baptist University in Ornelas Gymnasium on Monday, February 12.
The victory clinches at least a share of the American Southwest Conference East Division Title as the YellowJackets improved to 21-3 overall and 15-2 in the ASC. ETBU falls out of ASC East contention with the loss, falling to 19-5 overall and 13-4 in the ASC.
“Alec Colhoff had great defense tonight, and I don’t think most people realize just how important that was in a game like this tonight,” said head coach Dan Miller in a post-game interview. “I want to say thank you to all of our YellowJacket fans because we felt them tonight and that gym was rocking for both squads tonight.” “I am extremely proud of this team, and we are fortunate to come away with a win over an outstanding ETBU team.”
It wouldn’t be a typical LETU game by any means. LeTourneau hit just 6-of-18 three’s (33.3 percent) in the game and shot 29-for-70 (41.4 percent) from the floor, but made up for it by going 31-of-37 (83.8 percent) from the charity stripe which included a 22-of-26 (84.6 percent) mark in the second half. East Texas Baptist held a 43-38 advantage on the glass but allowed 18 points to LETU on 14 turnovers while the YellowJackets committed just eight turnovers. Second-chance points would also break in favor of LeTourneau by a tally of 17-10.
Loggins and Moore, both would set new career-highs on the night, with Loggins finishing with a game-high 28 points and hauling in 10 rebounds to go with two blocks, and one steal. Moore nearly matched the junior by finishing with 27 points which included a 15-of-16 mark at the free throw line, snagging three steals in the second half and grabbing three rebounds of his own. West would add 25 points to go along with four assists, and eight rebounds.
Playing from behind would be the story of the first half for the YellowJackets, leading for a total of just 21 seconds in half after falling behind by a score of 5-0 in the opening minute of the game. Loggins would finally get LETU on the board with a bucket at the 18-minute mark to make the score 5-2, but the Tigers would keep up the intensity to jump out to a 14-6 lead and lead by a score of 14-8 at the first media timeout with 15:34 left in the first half.
Colhoff and Loggins brought LeTourneau back to within one at 14-13 with two quick buckets out of the media timeout, but an 11-3 run by East Texas Baptist once again pushed the lead back out and gave ETBU their first double-digit lead of the game. LeTourneau would start to settle in just past the halfway point of the first half and score six points in 1:22 spurt to pull back within five, but the Tigers would manage to maintain their three-possession lead for the next few minutes.
The track meet of a first-half would continue with Christian Seidl getting a transition layup to pull LeTourneau within three at 36-33 before West knotted the game at 36-36 just 30 seconds later with five minutes remaining in the first half. Neither team would be able to continue at their torrid pace that was set in the first 15 minutes of the game, as three-point shooting and free throws would start to become the catalysts for points down the stretch.
Moore would use a pair of free throws to score his 12 and 13th points of the first half to tie the game for the third time with just 2:19 remaining before halftime, but ETBU would use their fourth trey of the half to go back up 45-42. LeTourneau would score the next five points to take their first lead of the game before a late Tiger bucket tied things at 47-47 heading to the break.
It would be LeTourneau who took charge of things to open up the second half, jumping out to a quick four-point lead on a Moore three and free throw before opening up an eight-point lead at 60-52 with 17:59 remaining in the game. LETU’s first double-digit lead of the game came at 67-57 on a West Jumper just over four minutes later at the 13:46 mark, but ETBU would come storming back and close within four with only over 12 minutes remaining.
LeTourneau’s lead would grow to seven on multiple occasions to hold off East Texas Baptist and kill the momentum that the Tigers had in the first half, eventually pushing their lead to 12 at 82-70 on a Loggins layup that would give the Lewisville, Texas native a new career-high. Free throw shooting would then come into play as ETBU refused to go down without a fight, getting buckets on nearly every possession before seeing the YellowJackets step up to the charity stripe and sink away their hopes at pulling off a comeback.
Thursday marks the end of the regular season for LETU. The YellowJackets can clinch an outright ASC East Division title when they travel to Richardson, Texas to take on Texas-Dallas University at 7:30 p.m. LETU defeated the Comets earlier this season by a score of 80-63 inside Solheim Arena and have won four straight against UTD.
MARSHALL, Texas – Free throw shooting and second-chance points would be the demise of the LeTourneau University women’s basketball team in a 73-54 road loss to highway 80 rival East Texas Baptist University at Ornelas Gymnasium on Monday, February 12.
LETU now stands at 4-19 overall and 2-15 in the American Southwest Conference while the Tigers picked up win No. 19 to improve to 19-5 and 13-4 in the ASC.
LeTourneau would collect 15 offensive rebounds in the game compared to only 10 for ETBU but would wind up losing the rebounding battle by a final tally of 39-31. East Texas Baptist would make the most of their ten offensive rebounds, outscoring the YellowJackets 32-18 in second-chance points while also going 14-of-19 from the free throw line. LeTourneau saw missed opportunities throughout, finishing just 4-for-18 (22.2 percent) from the charity stripe.
A team-high 16 points would be scored by senior Ashley Reed to go along with three assists while sophomore Alexandria Thorne netted 15 points and had five assists along with seven rebounds. Katy Boren and Karley McHenry, who both scored 16 points each, let ETBU.
It would be Thorne getting the YellowJackets started early on, hitting a pair of three’s in the opening 2:21 of the game to give LETU a 6-4 lead on the Tigers. After seeing ETBU tie the game at 6-6 with 6:16 left in the first quarter, Jaila Leaven would hit one of two free throws to put LeTourneau back on top in a quarter that saw four lead changes and two ties. Freshman Keauna Whitfield would get in on the action with a triple right past the midway point of the quarter to allow LETU to reclaim a 10-8 lead, but East Texas Baptist would respond with an 8-0 run that saw the YellowJackets go scoreless over the next 4:18. A Whitfield layup ended the drought with 1:41 left in the period to pull LETU back within four at 16-12, with LeTourneau able to keep the deficit at four heading into the second quarter (18-14).
The second quarter would be where the Tigers would create their gap in the game, using a 9-0 run to open the quarter and force a LeTourneau timeout with 8:09 left before halftime. Reed ended the YellowJacket drought and got LETU on the scoreboard in the second with a triple to pull LETU back to within ten at 27-17, but East Texas Baptist managed to shoot over 50 percent from the field in the quarter to double up LeTourneau 22-11 and take a 40-25 lead into the break. A big issue for the YellowJackets in the first half would be missed opportunities from the charity stripe as LETU would go just 2-for-11 from the free throw line.
To open up the third quarter, a Savannah Cummings layup and Reed triple would match the Tigers offensively, putting the score at 45-30 with 7:06 left in the quarter. ETBU then used a 12-2 run to open up their largest lead of the game at 57-32 before the YellowJackets would respond with an 8-1 run to close out the third period and trail by a score of 58-40 heading to the fourth.
No quit would be shown by LETU, as Reed would nail her third three of the game in the opening seconds of the quarter to force an ETBU timeout with momentum building for LeTourneau. Three-point shooting for the YellowJackets would continue to be a strong point as LETU would use the long ball to keep their deficit from growing. Unfortunately for LeTourneau, it would not be enough as the Tigers would end the game by scoring eight of the final 11 points to keep the YellowJackets from mounting a comeback.
LeTourneau will conclude their 2017-18 campaign on Thursday evening, traveling to Richardson, Texas to take on ASC East Division regular-season champion Texas-Dallas at 5:30 p.m.