PREVIEW: @UTTylerWBB set for ASC Tournament
Photo by: Lang White
Photo by: Lang White
Concordia Texas (15-11)
Texas-Tyler (17-9)
2/22/2018 | Richardson, Texas (UTD Activity Center) | Attendance: 245
Concordia Texas722222879
Stats at a GlanceCTXUTT
FG Percentage.491 (26-53) .313 (20-64)
3P FG Percentage.438 (7-16) .308 (8-26)
FT Percentage.800 (20-25) .800 (20-25)
Offensive Rebounds716
Defensive Rebounds3024
Total Rebounds3740
Bench Points118
Statistical LeadersCTXUTT
PointsKaycie Dunkerley - 30
Alex Kochner - 26
ReboundsKaycie Dunkerley - 7
Alex Kochner - 15
AssistsJaela Dejean - 6
Alex Kochner - 3
StealsJaela Dejean - 3
Samantha Odom - 3
BlocksPayton Berger - 2
Alex Kochner - 2

Wednesday, February 21, 2018
by Wes Bloomquist |

TYLER – The UT Tyler women’s basketball team will open the American Southwest Conference Championship Tournament at noon on Thursday in the quarterfinals against Concordia at the UTD Activity Center in Richardson.

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The Patriots (17-8, 13-5 ASC) have won 10 of their last 12 games entering the postseason and earned a 64-45 win over the Tornados in their regular-season matchup on Dec. 19 in Tyler. UT Tyler is making its eighth ASC postseason appearance and has won the tournament twice, coming in 2014 and 2016. The Patriots are the second seed out of the ASC East Division, while Concordia (14-11) is the third seed from the West. The UT Tyler-Concordia winner advances to the semifinals where they would play at 5 p.m. on Friday against the ETBU-Howard Payne winner. The ASC Championship finals are set for 6 p.m. on Saturday with the winner to earn the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Division III tournament.

“Postseason basically resets your season,” said UT Tyler head coach Kendra Hassell who is 7-2 in the postseason with the Patriots. “We’re back to 0-0 and it’s really important that we focus on being 1-0 at the end of Thursday. We’ve been focused the past couple of weeks on being tougher and that’s something that I’ve been seeing from our team in practice. That has carried over into games and will be a huge part to success in this tournament.”

UT Tyler finished the regular season leading the ASC with 194 total 3-pointers and averaging 7.8 per game, while it was second in the conference with 428 assists (17.1 per), a 41.4 shooting percentage and scoring 72.9 points per game. Concordia led the conference with 557 free throw attempts this season.

UT Tyler senior Alex Kochner leads the Patriots with 12.5 points and 8.6 rebounds per game, while Brittany Johnson finished the regular season with 11.7 points per game and Carissa Spiker at 11.1 points and 4.9 rebounds per game. Kochner has recorded eight double-doubles this season, including three in the final four regular season games and is third in the ASC in rebounding. She scored a career-high with 29 points in a win over Whitworth where she also had 14 rebounds. A Clear Lake native, she has scored in double figures in 16 games this year and 10 double-figure rebounding games. She has four games with 14 rebounds this season, including going for 18 points and 14 rebounds in a win over Belhaven last Thursday.

Johnson is third in the ASC with 58 3-pointers made this season and is shooting 33.9 percent from beyond the arc. A senior from Nacogdoches, Johnson is coming off a career-high 21 points last Saturday in the regular-season finale against Louisiana College after scoring 18 against Belhaven. She has 10 games with three or more 3-pointers on her season’s resume and was named the ASC East Division Player of the Week for the first time in her career on Monday. A sophomore forward, Spiker finished the season shooting 43.0 percent from the field and with 43 steals. She scored a career-high 25 points in a win over LeTourneau and also put up 16 in the first win over Concordia.

Demi Cumby comes into the postseason after averaging 9.0 points and 4.5 rebounds in the regular season, while Alexus Bertrand led the Patriots with 91 assists and 47 steals. Bertrand is fifth in the ASC with 3.8 assists per game after she had seven assists on the road against Belhaven and five more against LC last week. She had three games with seven assists this year and scored a season-best 14 points in a win over LC in Tyler. Bianca Valderrama made her fourth start of the season last Saturday, but has been the bench leader throughout the season where she is averaging 8.8 points and 5.4 rebounds per game. A junior Corpus Christi in her first season at UT Tyler, Valderrama has scored in double figures in 13 games this season including nine in a row. She scored 12 in both games last week after dropping 15 against UT Dallas in the home finale two weeks ago.

Samantha Odom is adding 7.4 points and 5.7 rebounds with 24 starts this year. She had a career-high 13 rebounds in the home win over LC and a season-best 14 points against Cornell and ETBU. She enters the postseason having grabbed eight rebounds and scored six points in the win over LC last Saturday. UT Tyler’s depth also includes Shadazia Birchette who is averaging 4.1 points and 2.1 rebounds per game for the Patriots who are limiting opponents to 37.4 percent shooting for the season. UT Tyler owns a 10.5 scoring margin advantage for the season.

UT Tyler is 10-5 all-time in the ASC postseason entering Thursday’s quarterfinal against Concordia. The Tornados are coached by former UT Tyler men’s basketball coach Matt Wallis and are making their eighth tournament appearance. CTX is 3-6 all-time in the tournament and won its lone conference tournament title back in 2012.

The NCAA Division III Selection Show is set for 1:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 26 on where the teams earning automatic bids and at-large bids will find out where and who they will be playing. The opening two rounds are set for March 2-3 and the sectional round on March 9-10. The 2018 NCAA DIII Championship will be held on March 16-17 at the Mayo Civic Center Taylor Arena in Rochester, Minnesota. UT Tyler has made the NCAA tournament three of the past four years, including reaching the Elite 8 in the 2016 postseason.