MEN'S BASKETBALL: LeTourneau defeats Arlington Baptist 78-58 to open season
LONGVIEW – The LeTourneau YellowJackets opened their regular season on a winning note with a 78-58 triumph Thursday over visiting Arlington Baptist College.
Deitrich Williams (Fort Worth, Texas/Grace Prep) scored a game-high 16 points on 6-of-8 shooting to lead the YellowJackets (1-0), who travel to Dallas Baptist on Saturday.
The Jackets sizzled from long range Thursday, shooting 53 percent (8 of 15) from the 3-point arc. Williams connected on all four of his 3-point tries and finished the night with 16 points, four rebounds and three assists.
Freshman post Paul All (Savannah, Ga./Benedictine Military) scored 10 points and grabbed a game-high eight rebounds in his first regular season collegiate game for the YellowJackets. All was 6-of-6 from the free throw line.
Jourdan Hughes (Dallas, Texas/SW Christian College) and Jake Kennedy (Sugarland, Texas/Travis) scored eight points apiece for the Jackets. Hughes also grabbed six rebounds and registered three steals.
Marcus Anderson scored 16 points to lead Arlington Baptist College.
The YellowJackets quickly seized control of the game and never looked back, jumping out to a 10-point lead less than four minutes into the contest. Cristian Driver (Houston, Texas/Atascocita) put the Jackets ahead 13-3 by sinking one out of two free throws with 16:20 remaining in the first half.
Driver, who last played for the YellowJackets in the 2009-10 season, scored seven points and pulled in three rebounds in his return to college basketball.
After the first media timeout, the Patriots were able to keep the Jackets in their sights, and even cut the lead to single digits at 21-12 with 9:45 left to play in the period.
The momentum break, however, turned out to be temporary as the YellowJackets began to pull away again, embarking on an 11-2 run. A 3-pointer by Hughes put LeTourneau ahead 32-14 with 7:13 remaining in the first half.
Arlington Baptist couldn't keep up with the Jackets inside the paint, as LeTourneau outrebounded their guests 41-24 and held a 16-8 edge on the offensive glass. The Jackets outscored Arlington Baptist 23-2 in second-chance points.
The YellowJackets took a 46-24 lead into halftime and never saw their lead in any real jeopardy after the break, as the Patriots were unable to cut the deficit to less than 17 points.
The YellowJackets return to action Saturday when they travel to the Metroplex to face Division II opponent Dallas Baptist. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.