WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: UT Tyler edges LeTourneau 53-48
TYLER, Texas – The UT Tyler Patriots used runs of 8-3 and 8-0 in the second half and outlasted LeTourneau 53-48 Friday in the ASC East Division opener for both teams.
The Patriots stretched a two-point lead to 10 thanks to an 8-0 run during a four-minute span midway through the second half. UT Tyler took a 44-34 lead with less than eight minutes to play in the game.
Starting guard La'Queda Davis (Houston, Texas/Waltrip) scored a game-high 13 points to lead the YellowJackets (4-5, 2-5 ASC East). Starters Jahmilah Tyson (Houston, Texas/Langham Creek) and Sharday Cotton (Mansfield, La./LSU-Shreveport) scored nine points apiece for LeTourneau.
Sophomore post DeShante Thomas (Whitehouse, Texas/Whitehouse) came off the LeTourneau bench to score 10 points. Thomas also tied a LeTourneau single-game record by blocking eight shots – a record she set two weeks ago in the Jackets' 56-47 win over Mary Hardin-Baylor.
In less than a season and a half, Thomas has blocked 85 shots, including 29 this season. She is five blocks away from matching the LeTourneau career record held by Sara Vestfals, who concluded her collegiate career in 2003.
She'Cara Humphrey scored 10 points to lead UT Tyler (5-4), which improved to 3-4 in American Southwest Conference play. Nicole Tucker and Lindsey Hausmann scored nine points apiece for the Patriots.
The teams were tied at 28 heading into halftime, but the Patriots came out of the locker room in the second half by scoring eight of the first 11 points of the period.
LeTourneau trailed by as many as 11 points in the second period and trailed 48-38 with less than four minutes to play. The Jackets embarked on an 8-1 run to cut the UT Tyler lead to 49-46 with 1:23 remaining in the game.
The YellowJackets scored all eight of their points on free throws during that span. LeTourneau players made eight out of nine charity shots in the final four minutes after sinking only four of their first 16 free throws in the game.
The three-point deficit was as close as the Jackets would get to the Patriots, as Hausmann responded with two made free throws on UT Tyler's next possession. She would sink two more free throws in the final minute.
The Jackets will take a couple of weeks off for Christmas and then be back in action Jan. 2 when they host Southwestern in a non-conference matchup. Tipoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. at LeTourneau's Solheim Arena.