ALPINE, Texas – Looking to open up the 2018 American Southwest Conference men’s basketball tournament in style, the LeTourneau University men’s basketball team would hit the century mark. It was in a 100-74 neutral-site win over Howard Payne University in ASC Tournament quarterfinal action at the Gallego Center in Alpine, Texas on Thursday, February 22.
The win, which is the first time that the YellowJackets have won in Alpine under fourth-year head coach Dan Miller, sets a school a record as LETU improves to 23-3 overall and advances to tomorrow’s 5:00 p.m. ASC semifinal round. HPU ends their season at 11-15 overall after falling to LeTourneau for the second time this season.
“The guys were locked in and mission ready today,” said head coach Dan Miller in a post-game interview. “We knew that Howard Payne was playing at a high level having won three in a row, so we had to be focused.” “I thought we moved the ball well today and other than the start of the second half we played solid defense and earned the win.”
Statistically, LeTourneau would dominate in nearly every aspect of the game by shooting 50 percent (34-for-68) from the field and knocking down 12-of-28 (42.9 percent) three-point attempts. LETU also held a 43-38 advantage in the rebounding category, and outscored HPU 21-9 in points off turnovers. Another critical aspect of the game for LeTourneau would be bench points, as the YellowJackets would get a 34-7 advantage from their bench.
Four of LeTourneau’s five starters would hit double-figures in the game, led by a team-high 23 points from senior Alec Colhoff who would hit his first four treys of the game while scoring 12 points in the opening three minutes of action. Sophomore Nate West would not be far off of Colhoff, scoring 18 points and assisting on four buckets while also collecting two steals. Justin Moore and Caleb Loggins added 11 and 10 points each with Loggins grabbing five boards and Moore two steals and three assists. Howard Payne’s Khyce Randall led by a game-high 37 points. He is the ASC’s leading scorer. Randall finishes his HPU career seventh on the all-time scoring charts.
LeTourneau would come out with a hot shooting touch from the start, hitting seven of their first eight shots of the game which included four triples to jump out to a 20-9 lead with 15:21 left in the first half. The LETU lead would grow to 28-13 on a pair of free throws by Loggins as Howard Payne would be unable to match the speed and efficiency that LeTourneau would show in the early going. The ability for LeTourneau would also be seen at the charity stripe, going 15-of-17 from the free throw line in the first half while outscoring HPU 15-5 on points at the line in the first half. LeTourneau would take their largest lead of the first half with 1:24 remaining in half at 48-31, but five straight points by Randall would bring Howard Payne back within 12 at 48-36. Colhoff would have the answer, however, to end the period, hitting a deep three to close out the opening 20 minutes of play with 19 points.
Following five straight points to open up the second half for LeTourneau, Howard Payne would use a 10-0 run to close the gap to single digits at 55-46 and appear to be making a game out of things. LETU would respond with a 10-0 run of their own to go right back up by a score of 65-46 with just under 13 minutes remaining and reclaim the control they had for a majority of the first half. From that point forward, Randall would do everything in his power to try and pull HPU back into the game, but LeTourneau would have too much firepower as three of their next four baskets would come from beyond the arc to open up a 78-56 lead with just 8:27 remaining in the second half.
LeTourneau would then turn to their bench down the stretch, utilizing fresh legs to build their largest lead of the afternoon at 92-64 on a Seth Mattson jumper with just 3:08 remaining before seeing HPU narrowly outscore LETU 10-8 in the final minutes.
LeTourneau will take on East Texas Baptist University at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, February 23 in what will be the season-series grudge match against the YellowJackets and Tigers. In the regular season, both squads earned road victories over the other, with ETBU winning 96-93 in Longview before LETU returned the favor by a final of 95-85 in the final week of the regular-season.
ASC Notes: Thursday’s win marks the first time in school history that LeTourneau has won American Southwest Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament games in back-to-back seasons after earning their first ASC Tournament win in school history last year. LETU has now won at least one game in every building in the American Southwest Conference and improves to 17-2 against ASC competition this season. Dating back to December 19, 2016, the YellowJackets have won 31 of their last 35 games against the other 12 teams in the ASC and are 40-5 in their previous 45 games played. In four American Southwest Conference Tournament games, senior Alec Colhoff has now scored in double-figures in all four games he has played, including a career-high 32 points in the ASC Title game last season.
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – LeTourneau Men’s Basketball has a 22-3 overall record in the regular-season. The team is ranked fourth in the latest NCAA Division III South Region Rankings released by the NCAA on Wednesday, February 21.
The ranking marks the second time this year that LETU has appeared in the NCAA Division III South Region Rankings and tied for the highest-ever region ranking that the men’s basketball team has received since joining the NCAA in the 1998-1999 season. The YellowJackets went 2-0 since they compiled the previous region rankings. It defeated the previously regionally-ranked East Texas Baptist University 95-85 on the road before clinching the ASC East Division Title outright with a 107-100 overtime win at the University of Texas-Dallas.
LeTourneau joins two other American Southwest Conference schools in the regional rankings, coming in directly behind Sul Ross State University who is third and ahead of Texas-Dallas who is seventh. Of LETU’s three losses, two have come against regionally-ranked opponents while also holding a 21-2 overall in-region record this season.
The YellowJackets will open up American Southwest Conference Tournament play on Thursday afternoon in Alpine, Texas, taking on Howard Payne University at 2:30 p.m.
LONGVIEW, Texas – Due to forecasted rain throughout the rest of the week in the East Texas area, LeTourneau University has announced that they will postpone their American Southwest Conference home opening series against Sul Ross State University to Monday, March 12.
Sul Ross was scheduled to travel to Longview and take on the YellowJackets in a 4:00 p.m. doubleheader on Friday, February 23, and conclude their three-game series with a single 12″00 p.m. game on Saturday, February 24.
LETU and SRSU will now play a 5:00 p.m. doubleheader on Monday, March 12, before playing the final game of their three-game series at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, March 13.
Due to moving the Sul Ross State series, LeTourneau has also announced a schedule change affecting a non-conference doubleheader with Trinity University. The doubleheader was originally scheduled for Tuesday, March 13, at 1:00 p.m. It is now on Wednesday, March 14 at 11:00 a.m.
LETU is still working on confirming a new date to resume the YellowJacket triangular with Grambling State University and Centenary College and will announce an original time once established.
LeTourneau will now open up their 2018 home slate on Monday, March 5, when they host Millikin University in an 11:00 a.m. doubleheader at the LETU Softball Field.
LONGVIEW, Texas – The LeTourneau University men’s basketball team will put their 22-3 overall record on the line on Thursday, February 22 in the quarterfinal round of the 2018 American Southwest Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament hosted by Sul Ross State University in Alpine, Texas against the YellowJackets of Howard Payne University.
Winners of ten straight games, LETU is fresh off a 107-100 overtime victory at the University of Texas-Dallas to clinch the American Southwest Conference East Division Title outright for the second consecutive season. The East Division Title is the second in school history, with the 22nd win of the year matching last season’s school-record setting team that went 22-6 overall and advanced to last year’s ASC Men’s Basketball Tournament Championship game.
LeTourneau will play in the second game of the day in quarterfinal action, with East Texas Baptist University and the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor opening up the tournament at 12:00 p.m. on Thursday. Other quarterfinal action on Thursday evening will pit east division No. 2 seed Texas-Dallas against No. 3 seed out of the west Concordia Texas at 5:00 p.m. while host Sul Ross State will take on Texas-Tyler in the nightcap at 7:30 p.m.
The four teams that advance to Friday’s semifinal round will play at either 5:00 p.m. or 7:30 p.m. Winners of games one and two playing at 5:00 p.m. on Friday. Winners of games three and four playing at 7:30 p.m. Saturday’s ASC Men’s Basketball Tournament Championship game will tip-off at 6:00 p.m. with the winner earning an automatic berth into the 2018 NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Championship.
In their only meeting this year, LeTourneau came away with a 98-63 win over HPU in Brownwood, Texas in their final game before the Christmas holiday break. LETU sophomore recorded just the second triple-double in school history and 12th in ASC men’s basketball history by finishing with 23 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists as the YellowJackets built a 44-29 halftime lead and cruised to their second-largest margin of victory this year. In their last five meetings against Howard Payne, LeTourneau is just 2-3 against the YellowJackets with the two teams splitting the previous four meetings.
Howard Payne will enter Thursday’s game with an 11-14 overall record after qualifying for the ASC Tournament on a last-second buzzer beater to knock off UMHB by a final of 76-74 in Brownwood. Senior guard Khyce Randall leads the ASC in scoring, averaging 25.2 points per game and has led Howard Payne in scoring all but two games this season. HPU has also won their last three games and has gone 9-9 since their loss to LETU on December 11.
TRACK AND FIELD
RICHARDSON, Texas – For the second time this season, LeTourneau University freshman track and field athlete Alex Hindman has been named the American Southwest Conference Field Athlete of the Week.
The award comes following Hindman’s performance at the Aggie Twilight Meet in College Station, Texas, which took place on Saturday, February 17. In the meet, the Seminole, Texas native cleared 4.78 meters (15 ft. – 8.25 in.) which was good enough for a fourth-place finish. The event featured all NCAA Division I competition, while the mark ranks 16 in NCAA Division III and leads the ASC and the South/Southeast Region.
A mechanical engineering major at LeTourneau University, Hindman is the son of Eric and Jenny Hindman.