PREVIEW: @UTTylerWBB set to host HPU in season opener
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11/17/2017 | Tyler, Tx | Attendance: 275
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HPUW102315654
UT Tyler1924211983
Stats at a GlanceHPUWUTTW
FG Percentage.277 (18-65) .424 (28-66)
3P FG Percentage.190 (4-21) .450 (9-20)
FT Percentage.583 (14-24) .563 (18-32)
Offensive Rebounds1118
Defensive Rebounds2035
Total Rebounds3153
Turnovers1821
Steals107
Bench Points1819
Statistical LeadersHPUWUTTW
PointsValarie Matlock - 21
Demi Cumby - 15
ReboundsChelsi Woodard - 7
Alex Kochner - 12
AssistsPresley McKethan - 4
Alex Kochner - 5
Alexus Bertrand - 5
StealsChelsey Harris - 3
Djimonii Jackson - 3
Alexus Bertrand - 3
BlocksChelsi Woodard - 5
Samantha Odom - 1

Thursday, November 16, 2017
by Wes Bloomquist | wbloomquist@uttyler.edu

TYLER – The UT Tyler women’s basketball team will open the 15th season in program history on Friday against Howard Payne with a 7 p.m. non-conference contest at the Herrington Patriot Center.

The Patriots are coming off a season where they went 20-7, including a 12-2 home record while the Yellow Jackets were 15-11 last year where they won the American Southwest Conference West Division and hosted the conference tournament. The season-opening game between UT Tyler and HPU will not be considered an ASC contests between the two teams that will meet again on January 4, 2018 in Brownwood in an official conference matchup.

UT Tyler is led by third-year head coach Kendra Hassell who has an impressive 50-9 record, while the program is 104-16 over the past four years. Under Hassell, the Patriots are 26-5 in ASC play and 3-1 against HPU. The teams split regular season games last year after UT Tyler won the 2016 ASC Championship tournament with a 77-70 win over the Yellow Jackets at the HPC.

The Patriots return nine players with experience in the program, but are also tasked with replacing eight seniors who helped lead the program to those 104 wins over the past four years. UT Tyler lost its top-5 scorers from last season with Demi Cumby being the top returner after averaging 6.5 points last season. A senior from Athens, Cumby is starting her second season with the Patriots and is coming off a junior year where she also contributed 3.2 rebounds per game, hit 23 3-pointers and had 32 assists and 13 blocked shots. Alexus Bertrand returns for her senior season after scoring 4.6 points per game with 19 made 3-pointers and 39 assists last season.

A four-player senior class includes Alex Kochner and Brittany Johnson who return to the court after missing last season. Kochner, Johnson, Bertrand and junior Samantha Odom are the only players who were on the 2015-16 team that reached the NCAA Division III Elite 8 and bring experience from that team that went 30-2. Kochner was an ASC honorable mention selection as a junior for the Patriots in that season after averaging 10.4 points and leading the team with 7.4 rebounds per game. She finished her first season in Tyler with 34 3-pointers and with 237 total rebounds. Johnson made 12 3-pointers in that season and also had 18 assists.

UT Tyler sophomore Carissa Spiker returns for her second season with the Patriots after averaging 5.0 points and 3.2 rebounds per game last season. Spiker had career games in the postseason with 20 points in a win over Concordia before establishing a career-best with 23 points after going 10-for-17 from the field in a semifinal loss to Louisiana College. She finished her sophomore season shooting 45.5 percent from the field and was 30 of 33 from the free-throw line. Odom averaged 3.9 points per game and added 3.3 rebounds for the Patriots.

UT Tyler has added Breana Powell, MyKaela Alfred, Shadazia Birchette, Hannah Hudson, Kaylee Rasbury, Bianca Valderrama, Jolee Carswell, Kenedi Tanks and Tori Shoemaker to its roster.

Following Friday’s game, the Patriots will play their next two games on the road against Cornell College and Trinity University next weekend in San Antonio. UT Tyler will host Centenary College on Wednesday, Nov. 29 at 7 p.m. in the HPC.