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LONGVIEW, November 18, 2013--
Sophomore Ashley Stephens recorded a double double – 13 points and 10 rebounds – to lead the LeTourneau University women’s basketball team to a 56-47 win over the University of Dallas in the season opener on Friday night at the Maher Athletic Center.
LeTourneau (1-0) had 11 different players score in the win as they shot 34.8% from the field. In the win, an aggressive on-the ball defensive effort was important for the YellowJackets, who held the University of Dallas to 23.7% shooting.
Dallas (0-1) was led by the 10-point effort – seven of which came in the final 90 seconds of the contest - from Marleyna Bustamante.
With LeTourneau holding a four-point lead, 30-26 and 15:58 left in the game, the Yellow Jackets went on a 12-3 run over the next seven minutes to take a 42-29 lead. Behind Bustamante, the Crusaders clawed within five, 50-45, with 1:24 to go. However, Stephens, a sophomore from Houston, had a coast-to-coast layup with 34 seconds to go to seal the win.
Stephens teamed up with Julencia Curtis to provide an intimidating presence on the front line. The pair each had four blocks in the win. Junior Ashley Fajardo hit a 3 pointer for the first points of the season for the YellowJackets, who trailed for only 30 seconds in the contest. Fajardo finished the contest with nine points.
LeTourneau senior Alexis Wighaman started her senior campaign with a valuable contribution. The Houston native scored eight points, grabbed six boards with two blocks and two assists to her credit. Fellow senior Jessica Manas came off the bench to score seven points – all from the free-throw line.
The YellowJackets will now return to the friendly confines of the Solheim Arena for its next five games. LeTourneau begins the home season with a 5:30 p.m. tilt against Hendrix College on Friday, Nov. 22 at 5:30 p.m.
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