MARSHALL, Texas – After a tight first half that saw them down two at halftime, the East Texas Baptist University men’s basketball team would convert on 60% made field goals in the second half as they upset the American Southwest Conference East Division’s top team in Louisiana College, 94-80. ETBU is now 7-9 overall and 5-4 in ASC East Division play.
Six of ETBU’s nine players who appeared on the court notched double figures with Christopher Haynes leading the way with 21 points. Westin Riddick (seven rebounds) and Robby Dooley (five assists) would put up 14 points apiece while Jordan Gray and Jarrell Taylor tallied 12 points each. Spencer Cochran would come off the bench and score 10 points. LC was led by Kae’ron Baker (21 points) and Travis Schultz (14 points), who posted double-figures.
Including the 60% made field goals in the second half, overall, ETBU made 56.4% from the field, 55.2% from three-point range, and 80% from the free throw line. They also outrebounded LC 40-26, blocked three shots, and won the assists category at 22-19.
Both teams traded baskets early on with Riddick (19:46) and Gray (18:55) countering LC’s early two-pointers with three’s to lead 6-4. LC answered with a 14-9 run (18:26-13:48) to lead 18-14. But nine straight Tiger points on three’s from Taylor (13:17) Nathan Fontenot (12:27), and Cochran (11:50) put the Tigers up by five at 23-18. Each team would literally exchange buckets until the score was 31-29. Riddick (6:54) and Gray (6:27) would sink three’s from downtown while Haynes (5:38) would complete a 9-2 run and a 40-32 cushion. The Wildcats would answer with an 11-2 surge (4:54-2:59) to go up 43-42. LC would then take a two-point lead at 49-47 going into halftime.
LC continued their momentum with a 7-1 start in the second half (20:00-18:19) for a 56-48 lead. Yet, ETBU would respond with a 12-2 run of their own (18:01-14:20) with Taylor’s three giving ETBU a 60-58 edge. LC would retake the lead with four straight free throws before Haynes’ three-point play at 12:40 gave the Tigers a lead they would never concede at 63-62. Dooley would score ETBU’s next four points (12:17-11:04) before Taylor gave the Tigers a 70-64 lead with a three halfway through the half. Cochran would then take his turn scoring as he would tally seven points (8:28-6:26) in the stretch to put ETBU up 77-69. ETBU would finally reach double-digits at 5:18 with free throws from Dooley as ETBU would maintain throughout the final five minutes. Fontenot would seal the win with a broken-ankle three-pointer (1:16) as ETBU preserved a 94-80 triumph.