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LeTourneau men defeat Rhodes 74-71, Women lose 55-38

LONGVIEW, November 25, 2013— Four members of the LeTourneau University men’s basketball team scored in double figures to lead the host YellowJackets to a 74-71 overtime win over Rhodes College on Saturday afternoon at the Solheim Arena.

LeTourneau (1-1) was led by senior Ladaria Brown, who knocked down four 3 pointers, who scored a game-high 19 points. The Henderson, Texas native hit three of the four 3 pointers in the second half. Joining Brown in double figures was senior Justin Jones, who scored 12 points and grabbed 12 rebounds for his first double double of the season.

Joining Brown and Jones in double figures was junior Josh Thornton, who came up clutch off the bench with 12 points – seven of which came in overtime and senior Chad Williams, who had five rejections for the second-straight night to tie a career-high, added 14 points.

The YellowJackets capitalized on a 39-33 advantage on the boards with a 12-2 margin on second-chance points. Despite the score being tied six times, LeTourneau never relinquished the lead in the win.

Rhodes (1-3) also had four in double figures including Geoff Livsey, who had 19 points to lead the Lynx. Johnny Dunavant added 11 on the strength of three 3 pointers and Tate Sledge and Drew Miller each scored 10 for the Lynx.

The overtime started with the two teams going back and forth and with the game tied at 65, Thornton hit a 3 pointer with 1:11 to play that put the home team  up by a 68-65 margin. After a timeout by the visitors, the Lynx missed a 3 pointer and Thornton came down with a clutch rebound. Next, he was fouled and added two free throws to stretch the lead to five, 70-65.

LeTourneau’s Chris Hynes added two more free throws after an offensive foul by Rhodes on the ensuing possession to put the YellowJackets up 72-65 with 35 seconds to play.

Rhodes would get as closer as three with three seconds to play but the YellowJackets secured the win.

The YellowJackets will now turn its attention to the rigors of the ASC with a contest on Tuesday, Nov. 26, at 7:30 p.m., against local rival, East Texas Baptist in Solheim Arena.

On the strength of a game-high 23 points from Lauren Avant, the Rhodes College women’s basketball team defeated LeTourneau University, 55-38, on Saturday afternoon in the Solheim Arena.

The loss drops the YellowJackets to 2-1 on the 2013 campaign and the Lynx improve to 4-0. LeTourneau senior Julencia Curtis scored a team-best 10 points and shared in team-high honors with six rebounds.

Avant made 6 of 12 field goals and was 10 of 11 from the free-throw line for the visitors from Memphis. Teammate Symone Daniels grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds to lead the Lynx.

LeTourneau jumped out to a 9-2 lead to begin the contest. In the early lead, senior Ashley Fajardo continued her string of 3 pointers to begin the game as she hit one for the third game in a row.

A 19-5 run the by the Lynx midway through the first half put Rhodes ahead 24-14 with 4:49 to play in the opening stanza. Six of the 19 came from Avant to lead the visitors. LeTourneau junior Shi’rrell Williams gave the YellowJackets a spark off the bench with eight first half points in the first 20 minutes.

After cutting the deficit to six, 24-18, with a pair of free throw by Williams, the YellowJackets were unable to draw any closer. Rhodes scored six unanswered to put the lead at double digits for the rest of the contest.

The YellowJackets will now turn its attention to the rigors of the ASC with a contest on Tuesday, Nov. 26, at 5:30 p.m., against local rival, East Texas Baptist in Solheim Arena.

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