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MARSHALL, February 25, 2014—YourEastTexas.com is proud to bring you the latest in sports news from East Texas Baptist University.
Erby Thompson took over the free throw line the last two minutes of the game going 6-of-6 to put East Texas Baptist University (11-14, 9-13) up by nine, 76-67, as they finished up the rivalry game over LeTourneau University (5-20/4-18), 78-70. Overall, Thompson went 10-of-10 from the foul line and has made 21 straight free throws dating back to Saturday’s game vs. Howard Payne University.
“It’s that our team has learned to defend their home court as we were losing games this close at the beginning of the year,” says head coach Bert West. “Players are starting to step up and make big plays for us. Anytime you can win a rivalry game you don’t worry about how bad or how it looks you are happy to get by.”
Thompson made two three-pointers and finished with 22 points to lead ETBU in 36 minutes of play. He has now scored 64 points in the last three games netting 24 against Sul Ross State and 18 on Saturday vs. Howard Payne. Dylan Augustine made a push to show why he is one of the top freshman in the American Southwest Conference canning five three-pointers for 18 points and now has scored 63 points in the last four games making 18 three-pointers. Justin Felicia rounded out the scoring with 10 points and led the team with seven rebounds. LeTourneau’s LaDaria Brown led all scorers with 25 points.
Within four, 66-62, with 2:46 to play in the game, LeTourneau was looking to spoil ETBU’s evening and the final regular season game as they were charging strong on a 12-3 run. Ten seconds later Augustine hit is only two-point shot of the night on a layup and ETBU would out score LeTourneau 12-8 in that time span for the win. LETU’s Justin Jones made 1-of-2 from the foul line to pull within five points but then Erby Thompson made his next six free throws with a bucket by Ahnre Gray as ETBU kept their lead. With 1:24 left, LeTourneau banked in a layup once again pulling within five but 11 seconds later Gray hit a layup for the seven-point lead, 72-65. Thompson would nail four more free throws with 44 seconds and 27 seconds left for a nine-point lead.
LeTourneau did not go away easily as Brown swooshed in a three-pointer with nine seconds left cutting the lead to six, 76-70. Juan Romero and Dylan Augustine both made 1-of-2 from the free throw line in the final nine seconds to seal the win.
ETBU’s largest lead of 16 came at the beginning of the second half, 47-31, on two Monty Grays free throws. They also had a 16-point lead on two free throws from Felicia at the 17:26 mark, 49-33, before LeTourneau made 15-4 run over five minutes to cut the lead to five, 53-48.
In the first half, LeTourneau jumped out to an eight-point lead, 17-9, almost six minutes into the game. In the next nine minutes ETBU responded with a 23-2 run for a 13-point lead, 32-19. LeTourneau did not hit a bucket for almost 10 minutes in that time and in a span and had a hard time scoring the last 12 minutes of the half. They made a bucket at the 14:56 mark for a six-point lead, 15-9, and then did not make another bucket until the 12:10 mark where they were down by one, 19-18. Almost 10 minutes later, they broke their streak of no baskets made as Brown banked in a shot at the 2:17 mark cutting ETBU’s lead to 11, 34-23.
ETBU finished shooting 36 percent from the floor, 39 percent from the arc, and 77 percent from the line. LeTourneau made 33 percent of their shots, 15 percent from the three-point line, and 76% from the stripe. They out rebounded ETBU, 49-43, and both teams had seven turnovers.
ETBU will now head to the ASC Tournament to face top seeded Texas-Dallas on Friday at 7:30 p.m., in Richardson, Texas.
A 29-25 halftime lead for East Texas Baptist University did not hold up late as LeTourneau stole a 67-63 win in the final American Southwest Conference game of the season at Ornelas Gym. ETBU led by as many as 14 early in the game, but only led by four at halftime before LETU chipped away and eventually won.
“We played well early in the first half,” said head coach Dustin Howard. “We led by 14 after the first nine minutes, then struggled to score the rest of the half. We came out in the second half and couldn’t quite get it going. Late, we couldn’t score when we needed to. We had a really good look after we got it down to one, but we couldn’t get it to go and we were forced to foul and they made their free throws.”
Jasmine Davis, in her final game at ETBU (9-16/7-15 ASC), led the way in scoring with 20 points, and Amanda Rucker joined her in double figures with 11. Jessica Manas was the only player for LeTourneau (11-14/9-13 ASC) to break into double figures with 14 points.
Slim Stewart, also in her final game at ETBU, scored the first basket of the game 11 seconds to put ETBU up 2-0 before Alexis Wighaman tied the game at 2 with a jumper of her own at the 19:21 mark. ETBU would go on an 8-0 run over the next 3:06 to push the lead to 10-2 on a Davis three-point play, a deep three from Kelly Johnstone, who was also playing her final game, and a Davis jumper with 16:05 left.
LETU responded and cut the lead to one with 13:49 left when ETBU began a 13-0 run to stretch the lead to 14. The run began with five straight points from Rucker on a jump shot and a three-point play, and continued on three’s from Davis and Kendall Festervand, and ended on a jumper from Morgan Garrett with 11:03 left in the first half for ETBU’s largest lead of the game.
ETBU would not score a field goal for the rest of the half, and it allowed LeTourneau to get back into the game. ETBU four points the rest of the half came on free throws from Stewart and Kayla Morgan, and they took the 29-25 lead into the locker room.
Davis scored the first field goal of the second half at the 19:32 mark to end ETBU’s field goal drought at 10:31. ETBU would push the lead back out to eight with a free throw each from Rucker and Davis, and held a 33-25 lead with 17:54 left. LeTourneau would fight back to bring the score back to one over the next 2:09 before a three-point play from Davis stretched it back to four with 15:45 left.
LETU would take their first lead of the game, 37-36, 38 seconds later, then Davis made a layup to give ETBU the lead back at 38-37 with 14:18 left to play. LeTourneau would take the lead for good on an Ashley Crockett layup 14 seconds later.
ETBU would fight back, keeping the game close until the 6:35 mark when LeTourneau began a 5-0 run to stretch their lead to its largest margin of 11 (59-48) with 5:01 left. LETU kept the lead to at least four until the 1:48 mark when Festervand hit a three to cut it to 63-59 and was followed by Stewart 35 seconds later hitting a three that cut it to one at 63-62. That is as close as ETBU would get, as LETU outscored them 4-1 on free throws in the last 1:06 to come out on top 67-63.
ETBU shot 30 percent (20-67) from the field for the game, 32 percent (7-22) from beyond the three point arc and 57 percent (16-28) from the free throw line. They were out rebounded 52-40, but won the turnover battle, committing just 15 while forcing 21.
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