@uttylermbb set to host TLU, SU at Christmas Classic
Texas Lutheran (7-3)
Texas-Tyler (6-3)
12/29/2015 | Tyler, TX (Patriot Center) | Attendance: 247
Texas Lutheran424284
Stats at a GlanceTLUUTT
FG Percentage.476 (30-63) .429 (27-63)
3P FG Percentage.462 (12-26) .455 (10-22)
FT Percentage.667 (12-18) .885 (23-26)
Offensive Rebounds128
Defensive Rebounds3027
Total Rebounds4235
Bench Points2624
Statistical LeadersTLUUTT
PointsZach Behr - 23
Demarcus Metcalf - 23
ReboundsZach Behr - 9
Melvin Anthony - 7
Demarcus Metcalf - 7
AssistsSterling Holmes - 5
Anthony Gonzales - 8
StealsSterling Holmes - 5
Dadrian Taylor - 3
Anthony Gonzales - 3
BlocksMatthew Gillette - 1
Aris Qadash Williams - 1
Zach Behr - 1
Ty Davis - 1
Anthony Gonzales - 1

Sunday, December 27, 2015
by Wes Bloomquist || jbloomquist@uttyler.edu

TYLER – The UT Tyler men’s basketball team will be back from a 12-day break from competition by hosting No. 25-ranked Texas Lutheran on Tuesday and Southwestern on Wednesday in a pair of 7:30 p.m. non-conference rematches at the Christmas Classic in the Herrington Patriot Center.

The Patriots (5-3) opened their season with an 83-67 loss to the Bulldogs (7-2) in Seguin before earning a 94-90 victory over the Pirates (3-6) in Georgetown to start a five-game winning streak. UT Tyler, which is 3-0 at the HPC this season, is coming off a pair of American Southwest Conference losses at Hardin-Simmons and LeTourneau before the break and will host TLU, SU and LeTourneau (Jan. 4) over the next week before going on a five-game road trip.

“We are really looking forward to having a three-game home stand after being on the road the last three games before the Christmas break,” UT Tyler head coach Jamon Copeland said. “We have two really well coached and talented opponents coming in this Tuesday and Wednesday. TLU is the 25th ranked team in the country, has really good guard play, and has already beaten us in both of our season openers. Southwestern is a really good offensive team that is extremely hard to guard and has already beaten multiple ASC teams this season. With us having already played both teams, it will have the feel of a conference game because both teams will have a familiarity with each other and know how they want to attack each other both offensively and defensively.”

Anthony Gonzales leads the Patriots this season with 18.4 points per game, including recording double-figures in each of the eight games and a season-high 28 points against Rust College a game before going for 27 against Howard Payne. A senior from Killeen, Gonzales is coming off an 18-point game at Letourneau and has also provided 17 assists and 3.8 rebounds per game. He leads the Patriots at the free-throw line by going 38-for-46 and is shooting 50.5 percent (50-for-99) from the field. Gonzales opened the season with 16 points and four rebounds at Texas Lutheran before scoring 15 in the win over Southwestern. He is currently second in program history by averaging 14.6 points per game in his career and enters this week with 481 career points after transferring in as a junior from Eastfield College. He was named the ASC East Division Player of the Week after his two high-20s scoring games.

Demarcus Metcalf leads the Patriots with 6.0 rebounds per game and is adding 10.8 points per game in his senior season. Metcalf, who has led the team in scoring three times and four times in rebounding, had a season-best 14 rebounds in a double-double performance against Howard Payne where he added 10 points. A Dallas native who also played at Eastfield, Metcalf went for 16 points, eight rebounds and three assists in the win over the Pirates in Georgetown. He matched his season-best of 16 points two weeks ago at Howard Payne. Deon Rodgers and Melvin Anthony are adding strength inside, with Anthony second on the team with 5.9 rebounds per game to go along with 8.4 points per in his sophomore season. Anthony played at Arkansas Fort Smith last season as a freshman and is coming off a 12 points, seven-rebound performance at LeTourneau after scoring 10 points at Hardin-Simmons. He leads the team with 10 blocked shots and is shooting 55.0 percent from the field. Rodgers was held scoreless after against LETU after going for 16 points in back-to-back games at HSU and McMurry and is averaging 9.1 points and 3.6 rebounds per game to start his junior season. Rodgers, who played at Fort Worth Dunbar, leads the team by shooting 56.1 percent (32-for-57) from the field.

“This is a group that wants to be pushed, coached, and to tap out their potential which makes your job as a coach really enjoyable because not all groups have this type of character,” Copeland said. “They also really enjoy being around each other which translates into each of them putting the good of their teammate over themselves.”

Dadrian Taylor is coming off a career-high with 19 points at LeTourneau where he also had four rebounds. Taylor had 15 points in the last home game against Sul Ross and had seven against McMurry and Hardin-Simmons. He is averaging 6.9 points per game, while Ja’Carre Crocket is at 5.1 points per game and Ty Davis is adding 4.3 rebounds per game and 4.9 points. Davis, a senior from Yantis who transferred from HPU, had six points and three rebounds in the win over Southwestern while Darryn York had a season-best eight points against the Pirates.

UT Tyler went on a five-game winning streak that started with the win at Southwestern, but has lost its past two. A break after a month of action is being looked at as a positive and a recharge for a team that has already surpassed its win total from the entire season last year. UT Tyler is 3-0 at home and own a 6.3 scoring-margin advantage in those games.

“The Christmas break will be really good for us to come back both physically and mentally fresh,” Copeland said. “We need to come back with the mindset of trying to get 1% better everyday, stay true to the process of seeking out daily improvement, and let the outcomes take care of themselves.”