PREVIEW: @UTTylerMBB set for ASC Tournament
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UT Tyler (15-11, 8-8 ASC)
Concordia (TX) (19-7, 12-4 ASC)
2/23/2017 | Solheim Arena, LeTourneau University | Attendance: 289
UT Tyler513384
Concordia (TX)434487
Stats at a GlanceUTTMBBCTXMBBC
FG Percentage.471 (32-68) .471 (33-70)
3P FG Percentage.167 (2-12) .467 (7-15)
FT Percentage.750 (18-24) .778 (14-18)
Offensive Rebounds179
Defensive Rebounds2921
Total Rebounds4630
Bench Points2010
Statistical LeadersUTTMBBCTXMBBC
PointsJordan Francis - 31
Joe Neal - 27
ReboundsMelvin Anthony - 8
Ben Page - 13
AssistsJosh Tatum - 5
Philip Meikle - 3
StealsJordan Francis - 1
Josh Tatum - 1
Verlo Levels - 1
Joe Neal - 2
BlocksMelvin Anthony - 1
Josh Tatum - 1
Rashad Coleman - 3

Thursday, February 23, 2017
by Wes Bloomquist || wbloomquist@uttyler.edu

TYLER – The UT Tyler Patriots are back in the American Southwest Conference Championship Tournament where they will play Concordia at 5 p.m. on Thursday at the Solheim Arena in Longview in a quarterfinal matchup.

ChampionshipBracket | History | Records

The Patriots (15-10) are the third seed from the East Division, while Concordia (18-7) is the second seed from the West Division after going 12-4 in conference play. The Tornados earned a 90-85 win over the Patriots on Jan. 7 in Tyler in the regular-season meeting between the two teams. Skyler Hadden led UT Tyler with 25 points and eight rebounds in that game with Melvin Anthony going for 17 points and nine rebounds and Verlo Levels scoring 18 points. The Patriots shot 54.1 percent in the game.

UT Tyler is 1-6 all-time in the ASC Championship Tournament and is making the program’s seventh appearance. The Patriots are making their first trip to the postseason since 2014 when they opened with a 104-86 quarterfinal win over Concordia in Richardson.

UT Tyler is 6-5 against the field this season which includes a 3-1 record against the West Division. The tournament begins at noon with UT Dallas and Mary Hardin Baylor before Hardin-Simmons and East Texas Baptist play at 2:30 p.m. The Patriots and Tornados play the third game and then LeTourneau and Sul Ross will play the final quarterfinal game at 7:30 p.m. at the Solheim Arena. With a win, the Patriots would advance to play the LETU-Sul Ross winner at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and the championship game is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Saturday. The winner of the tournament earns the ASC’s berth to the NCAA Division III tournament.

Jordan Francis leads the Patriots coming into the tournament with 14.4 points per game and is also adding 4.9 rebounds and 35 assists. A senior from DeSoto, Francis is in his first season at UT Tyler and scored a career-best 38 points at Solheim against LeTourneau in December. He had 29 points last Thursday against Ozarks and finished the regular season with a 58.9 shooting percentage. A junior from Killeen, Anthony finished his second season with the Patriots with a team-leading 7.2 rebounds per game to go along with 12.7 points per game. He had five double-doubles this season, including a season-best 30 points and 15 rebounds in a triple-overtime win over Hardin-Simmons.

UT Tyler junior Josh Tatum led the Patriots with 72 assists, including a single-game record of 12 against Belhaven. Tatum averaged 6.9 points per game from the point guard position, while Verlo Levels finished the regular season with 9.0 points per game and contributed 50 assists. Levels is coming off scoring 14 points last Saturday against UTD and had a season-best 19 pints in a win over Austin College. His 18 points in the first matchup against Concordia came on a 6-for-8 shooting performance. Hadden finished the regular season with 8.0 points and 3.1 rebounds per game, while Emeka Obukwelu and Tyler Jacobs are both averaging just over 6.0 points per game. A freshman from Plano, Obukwelu went for 14 points and six rebounds against UT Dallas on Saturday after scoring 11 points at Ozarks. He scored a career-best 20 points in the home game against Ozarks and had 10 points and four rebounds in the first meeting against CTX.


ASC Championship Tournament Team Notes (ascsports.org)

East Division

No. 1 LeTourneau (12-4 / 20-5) - LeTourneau enjoyed its best season in team history winning its first East Division title and set a team record with 20 overall wins. The YellowJackets make their fifth tournament appearance and will look to pick up their first win in the annual postseason event. LeTourneau is led by junior guard Alec Colhoff who ranks second in the ASC in free throw percentage (.891), third in three-point percentage (.442) and three-point field goals (68), and ranks 12th in scoring (15.9). Senior guard Jeff Martin ranks 11th in Division III in assist-turnover ratio (3.4) and ranks tied for third in the ASC in assists (145), 10th in steals (37) and is 13th in field goal percentage (.439).

No. 2 UT Dallas (8-8 / 11-14) - UT Dallas makes its 14th consecutive tournament appearance and has won three ASC championships (2005, 2009, 2014). The Comets have a 14-9 tournament record and share honors with Mary Hardin-Baylor for the longest current active streak, each with 14 consecutive conference tournament appearances. Junior guard Caleb Banks (12.9) and senior forward Kyle Coulter (12.4) lead the Comets offense and both rank in the top 30 in ASC scoring. Banks ranks seventh in Division III in total assists (171) and set the UTD single season record. He also ranks second in the ASC in assist-turnover ratio (2.5) and is eighth in steals (42). Coulter was a constant threat from behind the arc, ranked fourth in three-point percentage (.425) and 10th in three-point field goals (54).

No. 3 UT Tyler (8-8 / 15-10) - UT Tyler makes its first tournament appearance since 2014 and their seventh overall. The Patriots have a 1-6 record in the ASC tournament and advanced to the semifinals in 2014. Senior guard Jordan Francis ranks fourth in the ASC in field goal percentage (.589), 11th in free throw percentage (.776) and is 16th in scoring (14.4). Junior forward Melvin Anthony leads the Patriots' defensive effort and ranks 11th in rebounds (179) and 12th in blocks (21).

No. 4 East Texas Baptist (6-10 / 15-10) - East Texas Baptist makes its fourth consecutive tournament appearance and 11th overall. The Tigers are 5-9 in tournament play and won the ASC title in 2015 en route to competing in the Elite 8. Senior forward Jordan Quillian was the top shooter from the perimeter in the ASC and ranks fifth in Division III (.650). Quillian also ranks seventh in the league in rebounds (186), 13th in blocks (18) and 19th in scoring (13.8). Senior guard Dylan Augustine ranks sixth in the ASC in three-point field goal percentage (.418) and ninth in three-point field goals (56).

West Division

No. 1 Hardin-Simmons (13-3 / 19-6) - The defending ASC champion, Hardin-Simmons edged Mary Hardin-Baylor by one point in the last game of the season to win its first outright West Division title. HSU makes its seventh consecutive tournament appearance and 11th overall and are 14-8 in the postseason event. Senior forward Nathaniel Jack is the only player in the ASC to average a double-double, ranking ninth in scoring (17.2) and led the league in rebounds (11.6). Jack's total rebounds (289) and per game (11.6) both rank in the top 15 in Division III. Jack also leads the ASC in steals (54) and minutes played (38.4), ranks fifth in field goal percentage (.581) and seventh in assists (99). Senior center Justin Jones ranks second in Division III in blocks (93) and set the ASC career record with 348, surpassing the previous record holder by 48 blocks. Jones also ranks eighth in the ASC in rebounds per game (7.7) and is 25th in scoring (13.1). Junior guard Caleb Spoon led the ASC in three-point field goals (85) and ranks tied for 11th in Division III. Spoon also ranks fifth in the ASC in three-point percentage (.425). Senior guard Christian O'Neal made more than 100 made free throws and ranks fifth in Division III in free throw percentage (.936). O'Neal also ranks seventh in the ASC in assists (4.1), 11th in scoring (16.1), is 13th in steals (1.3) and 15th in field goal percentage (.434).

No. 2 Concordia Texas (12-4 / 18-7) - Concordia Texas makes its fifth straight tournament appearance and 10th overall. Concordia Texas won the ASC title in 2013, is a two-time runner-up and has a 7-8 record in the conference tournament. The highest scoring team in the conference (98.0), Concordia Texas is led by the sophomore guard duo of Joe Neal and Ephriam Price. Neal ranks third in scoring (19.6), sixth in rebounds (7.8) and steals (1.9) and is seventh in field goal percentage (.542). Price ranks seventh in scoring (18.2) and is 10th in field goal percentage (.524). Junior guard Josh Samuels and Price are the top shooting duo in the ASC behind the arc. Samuels (.482) and Price (.481) rank first and second, respectively, in three-point field goal percentage, and are tied for fourth in three-point field goals made per game (2.7).

No. 3 Mary Hardin-Baylor (15-10) - Mary Hardin-Baylor leads the ASC with 17 tournament appearances and has claimed two ASC crowns (2008, 2010). The Cru has a 14-14 tournament record and share honors with UT Dallas for the longest current active streak, each with 14 consecutive conference tournament appearances. UMHB has played in all but one ASC tournament and has not missed the event since the field expanded to eight teams. Sophomore guard Demarius Cress led the Cru offense and is one of two ASC players to score more than 500 points (513) and average more than 20 points per game (20.5), both ranked second in the league. Cress also ranks 12th in assists (3.2) and 14th in field goal percentage (.437). From behind the arc junior guard Aubrie King set the UMHB single-season record for most three-point field goals (84) and ranks second in the ASC. Senior forward Daniel Mills ranks third in free throw percentage (.868), eighth in scoring (17.4) and ninth in field goal percentage (.528). Defensively, senior center Austin Stolte ranks ninth in rebounds (7.7) and second in blocks (55).

No. 4 Sul Ross State (10-15) - Sul Ross State defeated Howard Payne in the last game of the season to secure the final spot in the West Division. The Lobos have a 4-7 tournament record and make their second consecutive tournament appearance and ninth overall. Junior forward Caleb Thomasson is the only player in the ASC to rank in the top five in both scoring (19.2) and rebounds (8.7). Thomasson led the league in field goals made (193) and ranks second in double-doubles (13). His field goal percentage (.643) also ranks 12th in Division III and was named the USBWA Division III Player of the Week (Feb. 7). Senior forward Jacob Dawson ranks sixth in assists (105), junior guard C.J. Ross ranks ninth in steals (1.5), and senior guard Xavier Webb is the top three-point shooting threat for the Lobos ranked seventh in treys per game (2.3) and 11th in percentage (.377).


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