RECAP: @UTTylerMBB opens season with win over TLU
UT Tyler (1-0)
Texas Lutheran (0-1)
11/16/2017 | Seguin, Texas (Memorial Gymnasium) | Attendance: 480
UT Tyler403878
Texas Lutheran245276
Stats at a GlanceUTTTLU-MEN
FG Percentage.450 (27-60) .328 (21-64)
3P FG Percentage.318 (7-22) .280 (7-25)
FT Percentage.680 (17-25) .871 (27-31)
Offensive Rebounds1316
Defensive Rebounds3025
Total Rebounds4341
Bench Points2021
Statistical LeadersUTTTLU-MEN
PointsEmeka Obukwelu - 28
Jackson Willoughby - 19
ReboundsEmeka Obukwelu - 13
Jackson Willoughby - 7
AssistsJosh Tatum - 8
Nathan Josephs - 3
Sebastian Andrade - 3
StealsSkyler Hadden - 3
Melvin Anthony - 3
Jackson Willoughby - 3
BlocksEmeka Obukwelu - 1
Omar Mohamed - 1
Shawn Hamilton - 1
Nick Orange - 1

Thursday, November 16, 2017

SEGUIN – UT Tyler sophomore Emeka Obukwelu recorded a double-double with 28 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Patriots to a 78-76 win over Texas Lutheran on Thursday in the season opener at the Memorial Gymnasium.

The Patriots (1-0) knocked off the three-time defending Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference champions by jumping out to a big lead early and holding off the charge from the Bulldogs that saw a last-second heave from beyond midcourt go wide. The Patriots and TLU will play again on Tuesday, Nov. 28 in UT Tyler’s home opener at the Herrington Patriot Center.

“Our defense and intensity were phenomenal for the first 12 minutes of the game,” UT Tyler coach Jamon Copeland said. “Where we need to improve is maintaining that intensity for 40 minutes.  I am really proud of our guys for overcoming adversity to win a close game late.”

In the opener, UT Tyler owned the first half where it jumped out to an 18-4 lead just over five minutes in on a Skyler Hadden 3-pointer and then were up 22-4 when Obukwelu connected on his sixth shot of the half. The Patriots led 40-24 at halftime with Chase Mason hitting the final shot of the first 20 minutes for the 16-point advantage with the team shooting 48.4 percent and limiting TLU to 20.7 percent shooting. 

A Plano native, Obukwelu finished the game 12-for-15 from the field and also hit four free throws. He led the team with 14 points and nine rebounds in the first half and would give the Patriots a 72-66 lead with 2:23 to play for his final points. Obukwelu had a previous career-best 20 points in a win over Ozarks and had 12 rebounds against Austin College. He started his freshman season with 19 points against Williamette in last year’s season opener in Oregon.

“Emeka played great tonight and really carried us,” Copeland said. “He is a great person, student, and player that we are blessed to have as a part of our family. We are excited about his development and growth as a player. He continues to work on his craft and you see it paying dividends for him.”

Josh Tatum and Mason added 12 points each for the Patriots, while Melvin Anthony and Hadden had nine in the win. Tatum, a senior point guard from Keller, was 8-for-10 from the free-throw line and led the team with eight assists while Mason, Anthony and Hadden hit two 3-pointers each. UT Tyler finished the game with seven 3-pointers, were 17 of 25 at the free-throw line and shot 45 percent from the field.

Jackson Willoughby led the Bulldogs with 19 points and seven rebounds, while Nathan Josephs had 17 points. TLU was limited to 32.8 percent shooting by the UT Tyler defense and had 18 turnovers in the game. The Bulldogs were 27-for-31 at the free-throw line to get back into the game, but the 16-poit halftime deficit proved to be too much to overcome in the opener.

UT Tyler, which led for 39:25 in the opener and by as many as 20 points, returns to action at 3 p.m. on Saturday against Southwestern in Georgetown before travelling to play Austin College on Wednesday in Sherman.