Nate West Named Co-ASC East Men’s Basketball Player of the Week
RICHARDSON, Texas – For the first time this season and fourth time in his career, LeTourneau University junior guard, Nate West, has been named American Southwest Conference East Division Co-Player of the Week for his performances during the opening weekend of the 2018-19 season.
West scored a game-high 21 points in 34 minutes of action as the YellowJackets would overcome a 10-point second-half deficit to earn a buzzer-beating 73-72 win at Willamette in the season opener. The Houston, Texas native would then follow up his performance with a game-high 25 points in a 104-90 loss at No. 4 Whitman College to close out the opening weekend of play.
LeTourneau Men’s Basketball Falls Short At #4 Whitman College 104-90
WALLA WALLA, Wash. – Trailing by 13 at halftime, the LeTourneau University men’s basketball team would be unable to mount a comeback in a 104-90 road loss to number-four nationally ranked Whitman College at the Sherwood Athletic Center in Walla Walla, Washington on Sunday, November 11.
The loss leaves LETU with a 1-1 overall record on their season-opening west coast swing while the Blues pick up their first win of the year in their 2018-19 season opener. Whitman is now 57-6 overall at home since the beginning of the 2014-15 season with their last home loss against a non-conference opponent coming on December 13th of 2014 against Warner Pacific College.
“Whitman is a great team, but I know we are also a great team despite the outcome,” said head coach Dan Miller in a post-game interview. “I Thought the game came down shot making and to their credit, they converted at a higher percentage.” “Tonight was two great teams battling, and some early foul trouble hurt us, but that’s basketball.” “I am proud of the fight and effort tonight and look forward to getting back to practice.”
How It Happened:
Whitman would be the first team to get on the board, connecting on a pair of free throws after drawing a foul but see LETU’s Nate Westnail a three in their first offensive possession to give LeTourneau an early lead.
The YellowJackets would then go on to force back-to-back turnovers by the Blues and get buckets in the paint from West and sophomore Justin Moore as a stunned home crowd saw Whitman call a timeout trailing 7-2 just 1:34 into the game.
LeTourneau would continue to feast on early turnovers from Whitman, pushing their lead to as many as nine at 13-4 following a free throw from senior Caleb Loggins.
A Seth Mattson offensive rebound and layup at the 15:20 mark in the first half would allow LETU to maintain a small lead at 20-13 as Whitman would begin to find their stroke and battle their way back into the game before reclaiming the lead on a Jack Stewart three just a few minutes later.
Both offenses would continue to push the pace heading into the final 10 minutes of the first half as a Loggins layup would tie the game at 28-28 before a quick 7-2 run by Whitman put the Blues up 35-30.
Whitman’s lead would continue to grow throughout the first half, hitting double digits with 6:40 left before halftime as foul trouble would start to get the best of the YellowJackets.
Trailing by 16 at 50-34, LeTourneau would manage to go on an 8-0 run capped off by a Moore three to cut the lead down to eight at 50-42 but see Whitman make one final push before the break to go up 57-44 at intermission.
Out of halftime, LETU would get a pair of free throws from Christian Seidl and a layup by Loggins to cut the deficit to single-digits but once again see Whitman rely on timely three-point shooting to extend their lead to 14 at 65-51.
Trading baskets for the next several minutes, the Blues would manage to make another run and take their largest lead of the game at 78-58 with 12:56 left in the game as the YellowJackets would risk the game getting away from them.
A 9-2 LETU run that would see freshman Kyle Matthews knock down a transition three would bring LeTourneau back to the first halftime deficit of 13 at 82-69 with nine minutes left to play and manage to stay within striking distance heading into the final six minutes of action.
Despite the efforts from the YellowJackets, Whitman would have too much firepower for LETU to be able to mount a comeback as the lead would get no smaller than 11 in the final five minutes of play.
Whitman’s victory would come thanks in part to a 52.9 percent (37-70) shooting mark compared to a 30-for-65 (46.2 percent) mark for LeTourneau as the Blues would connect on 12 triples compared to just seven for the YellowJackets.
The high-octane pace made for numerous turnovers for both squads as LETU would hold a 27-20 advantage in points off turnovers but get outscored 54-11 in bench points.
LeTourneau would be led in scoring by West with a game-high 25 points as Moore would not be far behind with 24. Loggins would add another 18 for the YellowJackets and add one block.
A season-opening four-game road trip continues Friday, November 16 in Marshall, Texas with the American Southwest Conference/Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Crossover Tournament at 3:00 p.m. when the YellowJackets take on Schreiner University. Last season, LETU would earn a 90-82 road victory over the Mountaineers who would go on to win the SCAC regular-season and post-season tournament titles to qualify for the NCAA Tournament. LeTourneau has won the previous two matchups against SU with the last Schreiner win over the YellowJackets coming on November 28, 2015, in Seguin, Texas by a final of 95-92 in overtime.
2018-19 LeTourneau University Women’s Basketball Season Preview
GENERAL INFORMATION INSTITUTION:
Longview, TX 75602
SCHOOL COLORS: Blue and Gold
ARENA NAME (CAPACITY): Solheim Arena (1,200)
AFFILIATION: NCAA Division III
CONFERENCE: American Southwest Conference (ASC)
PRESIDENT: Dale A. Lunsford
ATHLETIC DIRECTOR: Terri Deike
HEAD COACH: Cassi Rozanski (Texas-Dallas, 2006)
CAREER RECORD: 5-20, 2nd Season
ASC RECORD: 2-16, 2nd season
BASKETBALL OFFICE PHONE: (903) 233-3724
ASSISTANT COACH: Sheronda Mayo-Powell
WOMEN’S BASKETBALL HISTORY
FIRST YEAR OF WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: 1994
ALL-TIME RECORD: 260-370
OVERALL ASC RECORD: 104-247
OVERALL RECORD LAST SEASON: 5-20
CONFERENCE RECORD/FINISH: 2-16/6th East
STARTERS RETURNING/LOST: 2/3
LETTERWINNERS RETURNING/LOST: 8/2
TOP PLAYERS LOST
– G Ashley Reed (Honorable-Mention All-ASC East Division, 22 Games Started, 13.3 PPG, 57 Ast)
– F Savannah Cummings (22 Games Started, 7.1 PPG, 6.6 RPG)
TOP RETURNING PLAYERS
– Sophomore Keauna Whitfield (Honorable-Mention All-ASC East Division, 12.8 PPG, 9.0 RPG)
– Senior Jaila Leaven (16 Starts 8.2 PPG, 3.6 RPG)
– Senior Sha’Donnaver Young (7.8 PPG, 5.7 RPG)
Tierra Pollard (Dallas, TX)
Alyssa Abrams (Houston, TX)
Faith Hudson (Kermit, TX)
Shailey Miller (Post, TX)
Chauntel Acosta (Hereford, TX)
Kori Seals (Houston, TX)
Kiana Smith (Manvel, TX)
LeTourneau Men’s Cross Country Led By Michael Field At NCAA South/Southeast Regional.
MOUNT BERRY, Ga. – Led by senior Michael Field, the LeTourneau University men’s cross country team would close out the 2018 campaign with a 27th-place finish at the NCAA Division III South/Southeast Regional Meet held on the campus of Berry College in Mount Berry, Georgia on Saturday, November 10.
Competing as one of six schools from the American Southwest Conference in the meet, LETU would finish with 744 points among the 33-team field. Rhodes College would win the event with three top-10 finishers to finish with 71 points followed by Emory College (90 points) and Berea College (107) to round out the top-three teams.
Individually, Field would finish in 113th place overall after running a season-best time of 28:37.91 and would be followed by Lorien Nightingale in 146th place (29:03.13). Wesley Anderson would run a new personal-best time of 29:09.47 to come in 154th place while Nathan Glastetter set a new personal record with a time of 29:28.57 for a 167th place finish. Also competing for the YellowJackets in the meet would be Daniel Lopez (185th, personal-record 30:15.02), Matt Nusser (215th, personal-record 31:47.37) and Jared Rose (218th, 31:59.91).
LeTourneau Women’s Cross Country Competes At NCAA Division III South/Southeast Regional Meet.
MOUNT BERRY, Ga. – The LeTourneau University women’s cross country team earned a 22nd-place team finish in the NCAA Division III South/Southeast Regional Meet for just the third time in school history. It happened on the campus of Berry College in Mount Berry, Georgia on Saturday, November 10.
The 22nd-place finishes come as the third-best finish among American Southwest Conference schools competing in the meet as the YellowJackets finished with 592 points in the 32-team event. Emory University would wind up winning the team title with 83 points and would be followed by Centre College (106 points) and Washington and Lee (116 points).
Nearly matching a school-best finish at a regional meet, junior Alexis Segura would finish in 11th-place with a time of 23:12.32 and just missed out on matching the late Nicole Leman who would finish 10th in the 2012 NCAA Division III South/Southeast Regional Meet to qualify for the national meet.
Running in her first NCAA Regional meet, freshman Logan Parish would turn in a 103rd place finish with a time of 26:01.23 while McKenzie Craycraft came in 173rd place with a time of 28:27.74. Coming in a few seconds back of Craycraft would be junior Julianne Hood who finished in 179th place with a time of 28:45.16 while Kali Carter (192nd, 29:23.77) and Allison Fuller (194th, 29:26.03) both finished inside the top-200. Senior Bridey Davis would conclude her LETU career on Saturday with a 200th place overall finish and a time of 29:43.50.
Segura will now await Sunday’s announcement on at-large qualifiers for the NCAA Division III National Meet to see if she has qualified for a race that will take place on Saturday, November 17 at Lake Breeze Golf Club in Winneconne, Wisconsin. The NCAA Will announce the 16 at-large team bids before determining the 56 additional individuals that are not among qualifying teams or the top seven finishers at each regional who will compete in the championship meet.
LeTourneau Men’s Basketball Escapes With Last-Second Win At Willamette
SALEM, Oregon – Connecting on just two three-point field goals in the second half, the LeTourneau University men’s basketball team managed to push the ball up the court and find an open Christian Seidl who would hit an open game-winning three from 25 feet at the buzzer to give the YellowJackets a 73-72 road win over Willamette University at Cone Field House in Salem, Oregon on Friday, November 9.
The win gives LETU a season-opening victory for the third-straight season while the host Bearcats fall to 0-1 heartbreakingly.
How It Happened:
Looking to play at an up-tempo pace, LeTourneau would see the Bearcats push the issue in the opening minutes of the game with a 7-1 run after allowing a game-opening basket to take a 7-3 lead 45 seconds into the game.
Layups by Caleb Loggins and Seth Mattson would bring the YellowJackets back to tie the game at 7-7 two minutes later as both teams would trade buckets before the YellowJackets would use a 10-0 run to take a 17-9 lead at the 14:58 mark of the first half.
LETU would take their largest lead of the game at 20-11 following a triple from Seidl but see a scoring drought allow for the next three minutes of the game to go scoreless.
The Bearcats would break the drought with a layup to cut the LeTourneau lead to seven at 20-13 and use a 7-0 run to pull back within two at 20-18.
Willamette would reclaim the lead on a Justus Eaglesmith three with 6:56 remaining in the first half to go up 23-22 and use a 12-3 run to push their lead to six at 35-29 with just over a minute left before halftime.
LeTourneau would get one free throw each from Justin Moore and Loggins in the final minute of the first period but see a corner triple off an offensive rebound for Willamette put the Bearcats up 38-31 at the break.
Needing a spark to get battle their way back into the game, LETU would see Willamette open the second half with five of the first seven points and face their most significant deficit of the game at 10 points (43-33).
Mattson and Loggins would then put the YellowJackets on a 10-0 run capped off with a Nate West layup to tie the game at 43-43 with 16:33 left in the game.
A quick five points by the Bearcats quickly put Willamette back up by a score of 48-43, but LeTourneau would manage to claw their way back and take their first lead of the second half on a Seidl layup with 9:59 left in the second half.
Three-point shooting would allow Willamette to stay in the game and reclaim the lead yet again as neither team would claim an edge of more significant than five down the stretch.
Moore would put LETU on a 5-2 run to give the YellowJackets a four-point lead at 63-59 with just over 5 minutes left to play, but three consecutive triples by the Bearcats quickly flipped the score to a five-point margin in favor of Willamette with only 3:52 remaining.
The defense would then start to crack down for LeTourneau, scoring six of the next eight points to trail by one at 70-69 with 1:49 remaining before a foul with 29 seconds left would send West to the free throw line.
West would manage to hit the front end of a two-shot trip to the line to tie the score at 70-70, forcing LETU to go back on defense and try and get a stop.
Willamette would play aggressively in the waning seconds, drawing a foul with 6.7 seconds left that would give Jordan Jenkins two free throws as the senior would sink both shots.
With one final chance to tie or win the game, West would bring the ball up into the frontcourt and face a double-team that would leave Seidl open from well beyond the three-point line.
The senior would play the role of hero with a shot that rattled home as time expired to allow the YellowJackets to escape with a one-point victory.
Early-season woes would do their best to slow down the YellowJackets as LETU would manage to hit just 10-of-25 free throws in the game compared to a perfect 8-for-8 from the Bearcats.
Willamette would also manage to double up LeTourneau in three-point field goals, hitting 10 in the game which included a six-for-11 performance in the second half but could not overcome a 19-6 advantage for LETU in points off turnovers.
Four players in LeTourneau’s starting five would wind up in double-figure points as Moore and West would score a game-high 19 points while Loggins would add 13 points and seven rebounds while hitting the 500-career rebound milestone.
LeTourneau will find out where they stand from a national standpoint on Sunday, November 11 as they travel to Walla Walla, Washington to take on perennial powerhouse and number-four nationally-ranked Whitman College in a non-conference matchup at 3:00 pm (PST) at the Sherwood Athletic Center. The Blues will be playing in their season-opener on Sunday and are a combined 83-8 over the past three seasons which includes a 43-3 overall record at home in that span.
LeTourneau Cross Country Set To Run In NCAA Regional Meet On Saturday
LONGVIEW, Texas – The LeTourneau University women’s and men’s cross country teams will compete in the NCAA Division III South/Southeast Regional Meet on Saturday, November 10 in Mount Berry, Georgia, on Berry University’s campus.
Competing as a team in the regional meet for just the third time in school history, the LETU women will return to the site that last hosted the NCAA Division III South/Southeast Regional Meet when they competed as a team in 2016 and finished 19th. The YellowJacket men are fighting as a team in the regional meet for the first time since 2016 and for the seventh time in the past eight seasons where they will look to try and match or improve upon a program-best 15th place team finish that occurred in 2016.
Leading LeTourneau on the women’s side will be American Southwest Conference individual champion Alexis Segura who will be competing in her third regional meet, as the Austin, Texas native has earned top-40 finishes the past two seasons. LETU will also look for freshmen Logan Parish and McKenzie Craycraft to perform well in their first regional meet, as Parish earned a top-15 finish and Craycraft a top-25 finish at the ASC Championships two weeks ago.
Over on the men’s side, senior Michael Field will be competing in his third-straight regional meet and will look for a career-best finish at the level after an 82nd and 87th place finish the past two seasons. Sophomore Lorien Nightingale will also be a factor for the YellowJackets as the Njoro, Kenya native has been the top LETU finisher in three of the five meets that LeTourneau has competed in this year.
The women’s 6K race is scheduled to get underway at 11 a.m. (ET) with the men’s 8K race scheduled for 12:15 p.m. (EST). Information regarding the regional meet including course maps and a list of schools competing in the event on Saturday can be found at the Regional Meet website courtesy of Berry College. NCAA Division III South/Southeast Regional Meet Website.
Sports Information Director