WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: LeTourneau gets past Centenary in overtime 83-79
By Trey McLaughlin
LETU Sports Information Assistant
LONGVIEW – Playing in their first overtime contest of the season, the LeTourneau YellowJackets fended off a pesky Centenary squad and claimed an 83-79 win Thursday at Solheim Arena.
The Jackets improved to 9-7 on the season with the win, and remained undefeated at home since the start of the New Year. LeTourneau has won five straight at Solheim, and a 6-1 this season at home.
The win was much like many other wins for LeTourneau this season – a total team effort. Andrea Ashley (Kilgore, Texas/Texas) scored a career-high 16 points and grabbed seven rebounds to lead four YellowJackets scoring in double-figures.
Sharday Cotton (Mansfield, La./LSU-Shreveport) rounded out the double figure scoring for the Jackets with her fourth double-double of the season, compiling 10 points and 10 rebounds.
The Ladies (5-12) were led by Megan Daniel who scored a game-high 22 points. Jelena Sanders added 18 points for Centenary.
The Jackets appeared to have lost the momentum going into the overtime period as the Ladies of Centenary posted a 6-0 run stretching from the last two minutes of regulation and into overtime as they grabbed a basket 25 seconds into the extra period.
However, the Jackets were able to reclaim the lead – one they did not relinquish the rest of the game – as they made a 7-0 charge from 4:19 to the 3:07 marks of the extra period.
Centenary struck first in the game as the Ladies jumped out to an early lead with a 9-2 lead at the 16:32 mark of the first half. The Jackets did not remain phased for long as they answered with seven straight points to tie the game.
The rest of the first half went back-and-forth as the opening period featured eight lead changes and three ties. Centenary took the lead into the break at 35-32.
Meg McGuire was the bright spot for LeTourneau in the first half, knocking down all four of her 3-point attempts to give her 12 points before halftime.
The Ladies took early control of the second half, but an 8-0 Jackets run between the 15:22 and 12:38 marks gave LeTourneau a 46-42 lead. Neither team led by more than four points for the remainder of the second half.
Lauren Llanes (League City, Texas/Clear Creek) got her second start of the season and helped solidify the middle as she recorded two blocks. DeShante Thomas (Tyler, Texas/Whitehouse) recorded the only other blocked shot for the Jackets.
The Jackets shot an even 50 percent (31 of 62) for the game from the floor. The 83 points scored Thursday were the highest since LeTourneau's season-opening win over Sewanee at the Sheraton Birmingham Classic.
At 5-7, the Jackets remained a half-game behind UT Tyler and Ozarks (Ark.) for a fourth-place tie in the American Southwest Conference's East Division standings.
As Centenary is phasing out athletic scholarships after moving to the NCAA's Division III this season from Division I, its games are not counted in the league standings.
The Jackets will look to push their home win streak to six on Saturday as they take on East Texas Baptist in the Piney Woods Classic. Tipoff for the game is 5:30 p.m.