PREVIEW: @UTTylerMBB takes 6-0 record to Abilene
Photo by: Lang White
Photo by: Lang White
UT Tyler (6-1, 1-1 ASC)
at
Hardin-Simmons (2-5, 2-1 ASC)
12/7/2017 | Abilene, TX | Attendance: 454
1st2ndFinal
UT Tyler414485
Hardin-Simmons414788
Stats at a GlanceUTTHSU
FG Percentage.479 (34-71) .483 (29-60)
3P FG Percentage.207 (6-29) .471 (8-17)
FT Percentage.688 (11-16) .917 (22-24)
Offensive Rebounds147
Defensive Rebounds2427
Total Rebounds3834
Turnovers1916
Steals86
Bench Points2644
Statistical LeadersUTTHSU
PointsMelvin Anthony - 19
Spoon - 20
ReboundsMelvin Anthony - 10
Mcelroy - 6
Spoon - 6
Holdman - 6
AssistsSkyler Hadden - 3
Melvin Anthony - 3
Barrett - 6
StealsSkyler Hadden - 2
Melvin Anthony - 2
Spoon - 2
Hoeup - 2
BlocksChase Mason - 1
Barrett - 2

Wednesday, December 6, 2017
by Wes Bloomquist | wbloomquist@uttyler.edu

TYLER – One of only 33 teams out of 396 in NCAA Division III without a loss, the UT Tyler men’s basketball team returns to action this week with a pair of American Southwest Conference road games against Hardin-Simmons on Thursday and McMurry on Saturday in Abilene.

The Patriots (6-0, 1-0 ASC) will play Hardin-Simmons (1-5, 1-1 ASC) at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday at the Mabee Complex before a 2 p.m. game against McMurry (2-3, 2-1 ASC) on Saturday at the Kimbrell Arena. UT Tyler is coming off a 94-70 win over Ozarks last Saturday in its ASC opener and then a 110-99 non-conference victory last Sunday over Rhodes College. The Patriots are 4-0 away from home this season as they travel to Abilene to play the defending ASC Champion Cowboys who reached the NCAA DIII Sweet 16 last season.

UT Tyler earned a 106-101 triple-overtime win over Hardin-Simmons and an 82-56 victory over McMurry last season at the Herrington Patriot Center. UT Tyler currently leads the ASC in assists per game (22.7), field-goal percentage (50.9), scoring margin (14.2), steals per game (10.2), total assists (136) and won-lost percentage (100.0). The Patriots are coming off a game against Rhodes where they set the single-game record in program history with 39 assists and 21 steals.

“Defensively, we have been really good so far,” UT Tyler coach Jamon Copeland said. “Our length is making it tough for our opponents. We are playing hard on both sides of the court and if we keep that up I think we have a pretty good chance.”

Emeka Obukwelu has led the Patriots throughout the season and comes into the fourth week of play averaging 24.8 points and 11.2 rebounds per game. A sophomore from Plano, Obukwelu is coming off setting the UT Tyler single-game scoring record when he went for 43 points and 17 rebounds in the win over Rhodes. At 6-foot-8, Obukwelu has dominated the early-season schedule and already has four double-doubles. A power inside, he is leading the nation by shooting 81.9 percent from the field for the season after shooting 31-for-35 last week. His four double-doubles are the fifth most in the nation, while his 68 field goals made are the third most in DIII. At point guard, Josh Tatum is currently fifth in the nation with 3.67 steals per game and seventh with 7.3 assists per game. A senior from Keller, Tatum has 44 assists and 22 steals through six games for the Patriots and is also averaging 9.0 points and 4.2 rebounds per game.

“He brings us a ton of poise and is really long from that position,” said Copeland of Tatum. “He’s got great body control when he drives. He is never in too big of a hurry and is letting things develop. Defensively, his athleticism and attention to details are giving people fits. He’s playing at a really high level right now for us.”

Melvin Anthony has also been a force for the Patriots with 17.5 points and 7.2 rebounds per game after scoring 22 points in the win over Rhodes. For the past three games, Anthony has recorded 23 points against Texas Lutheran, 24 at Ozarks and then the 22 against the Lynx. He had a double-double with 24 points and 12 rebounds against Ozarks and leads UT Tyler with 13 3-pointers this season. Skyler Hadden is adding 10.2 points and 5.2 rebounds per game, including 11 points and five rebounds in the ASC-opening win over Ozarks.

UT Tyler junior Cameron Frank has started all six games at guard and is adding 6.5 points per game and has 16 assists and four steals. Frank is coming off a career-high 20 points against Rhodes after he went 4-for-5 on 3-pointers and also had five assists. The Patriots are got a big spark from Johnell Lane in the win over Ozarks when he went off for 26 points in his first significant action of his career. Prior to hitting six 3-pointers and scoring 26 points, Lane had only had four minutes in the win over TLU. His emergence adds depth that saw him score seven points and grab six rebounds in the win over Rhodes. Additionally, Chase Mason is adding 7.0 points per game and is second on the team with eight 3-pointers.

Hardin-Simmons will host the Patriots in its home opener after taking a 76-50 non-conference loss to Trinity on Tuesday following a 71-66 win over Louisiana College and an 89-84 loss to Belhaven in their conference openers last week on the road. The Cowboys are being limited to 37.4 percent shooting and 73.3 points per game.

“Winning any game is tough, but especially on the road,” Copeland said. “I think our guys have taken a business-like approach to our road trips this season. We are going there to get a win and that’s how they are preparing every day leading up to our games regardless of where we are playing. We are doing everything we can to give ourselves the best chance to win and we are taking that mentality wherever we are going to play.”

UT Tyler will return home after its weekend road trip to host three straight games before the holiday break. The Patriots host Mary Hardin-Baylor on Saturday, Dec. 16, Colorado Collee on Sunday, Dec. 17 and Concordia on Tuesday, Dec. 19 at the Herrington Patriot Center.