MEN'S BASKETBALL: East Texas Baptist gets past LeTourneau 65-55
LONGVIEW – East Texas Baptist scored eight consecutive points over a 35-second span midway through the second half that put the game out of reach for LeTourneau as the Tigers claimed a 65-55 victory Saturday.
At LeTourneau University's Solheim Arena, the visiting Tigers seized momentum from the YellowJackets following a media timeout at the 9:09 mark of the second half to stretch their lead to 14 points. Monty Grays' 3-pointer with 8:34 remaining capped the run that included two treys and a fast-break layup.
East Texas Baptist (11-6) maintained a firm grip on second place in the American Southwest Conference's East Division as the Tigers improved to 8-4 in league play.
Kendrae Carter (Houston, Texas/NW Oklahoma State) tallied game-highs of 20 points and eight rebounds to lead the YellowJackets (3-14, 2-11 ASC East). Carter scored 14 of LeTourneau's 27 first-half points, and shot 8-of-16 from the field for the game.
Trey Perkins (Groesbeck, Texas/Groesbeck) scored 11 points and grabbed seven rebounds for LeTourneau. Cristian Driver (Houston, Texas/Atascocita) added nine points and three steals to go along with a career-best seven rebounds.
Jeremy LaGarde scored 16 points to lead the Tigers, who won for the ninth time in their last 10 contests. Monty Grays and Kerry McClahan added eight points apiece for East Texas Baptist.
The Tigers took control of the game midway through the first half, using a 9-0 run between the 13:34 and 10:36 marks to take a 21-14 lead. The YellowJackets would trim the lead to as few as five points late in the half, but the Tigers took a 36-27 lead into the midgame break.
The two teams continued to trade baskets after halftime, and LeTourneau would again cut the ETBU lead to five points, this time on a jumper in the paint by Perkins three minutes in to make the score 38-33. Each time East Texas Baptist would stretch the lead to double-digits, the Jackets would answer back.
Trailing 51-41, the Jackets again managed to piece together another run, with baskets by Paul All (Savannah, Ga./Benedictine Military) and Carter pulling the Jackets to within six with nine and half minutes to play.
Momentum began to build again for the home team, but the Tigers were able to regroup following the media timeout; following its key 8-0 run, East Texas Baptist never led by fewer than nine points the rest of the game.
Deitrich Williams (Fort Worth, Texas/Grace Prep) scored seven points for the YellowJackets. All added four points off the LeTourneau bench.
Despite their record, the YellowJackets remain only two games behind fourth-place Texas-Tyler for the fourth and final playoff spot out of the ASC East. The Jackets swept their season series from the Patriots.
The Jackets will try to get back in the win column Thursday when they host the Mississippi College Choctaws (3-12, 2-10 ASC East). The Choctaws are 0-7 this season outside of the Magnolia State.
Tipoff between the Choctaws and YellowJackets is scheduled for approximately 7:30 p.m. Thursday, or a half-hour after the conclusion of the women's game between LeTourneau and MC.
LeTourneau's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee members will again be collecting change during next week's games as part of the ASC's "Make a Change in 14 Days." Proceeds from the Jackets' games will benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Longview.