TYLER-- The UT Tyler men's basketball team mounted a furious rally late in the second half against East Texas Baptist, but fell short, losing 75-64 to the Tigers on Thursday night. The loss puts the Patriots' record at 5-11 overall and 4-9 in the American Southwest Conference.
ETBU (10-6, 7-4) got off to a hot start to begin the game, taking a 12-4 just four minutes into the game. The Patriots fought back, tying the game at 14 on a Lance Murphy jumper at the 13:39 mark in the first half.
UT Tyler took its first lead of the game with 5:30 left in the first half on a layup by Murphy, giving the Patriots a 21-20 lead.
UT Tyler then extended the lead to 28-23 on a three-pointer by Jacob McDonald, giving them their largest lead of the night before ETBU cut the lead back to 28-25 to end the first half.
The Tigers took control in the second half, going up by as many as 10 points mid-way through the frame on 59-percent shooting from the field.
With 4:13 remaining in the game, and the Patriots trailing by nine, Larry Carpenter hit three three-pointers in less than a minute to cut the ETBU lead to 66-64.
The Tigers shutdown the furious rally by the Patriots, outscoring the Patriots 9-0 in the last two minutes of the game.
Junior Darren Houliston led the way for UT Tyler, scoring 19 points with nine rebounds. Murphy and McDonald each chipped in with 15.
Tiger guard Jeremy LaGarde led all scorers with a game-high 26 points, in 32 minutes of play.
The Patriots hit the hardwood again on Saturday at the Herrington Patriot Center with a 3 p.m. game against Centenary.