SHERMAN, Texas – The Austin College men's basketball team got out to a hot start against visiting LeTourneau University on Monday night with an early 13-7 lead, but the Yellow Jackets used a 22-3 run to take control on their way to handing the 'Roos a 91-73 loss in Hughey Gym. The 'Roos are now 2-4 overall this season.
LeTourneau used 58 points in the paint and 23 second chance points and held the 'Roos to just 34.7% shooting from the field and 15.4% accuracy from long distance to top Austin College for the second time this season despite 21 points from Justice Mercadel and a double-double for Michael Holland. Holland scored 17 points and grabbed 12 rebounds for his third straight double-double, while Mercadel added three steals and four boards in the loss.
After Austin College jumped out to its early lead, the Jackets scored 14 unanswered to go on top 21-13 as the 'Roos went nearly seven minutes without a field goal. The margin grew to 29-16 with seven minutes left before the break, but a three from Josh Quinn capped an 8-0 run that got the 'Roos back to within five points at 29-24. A Holland layup kept it tight at 33-28 with 3:41 left on the clock, but an 11-0 run by LeTourneau helped the Jackets take a 44-32 lead into halftime.
LeTourneau pushed the lead to 20 early in the second half and led by as many as 26 points at 84-58 with just under seven minutes remaining. Austin College refused to go away, however, with Holland scoring four quick points and Quinn knocking down his second trey to cut it to 86-71, and Josh Hardwick scored to make it 87-73 with 2:46 left. However, the 'Roos would miss their final five field goal attempts while the Jackets knocked down four free throws down the stretch to ice the game.
Mercadel hit 7-of-16 shots and 6-of-7 free throws to get his 21 points, and Holland hit 7-of-17 and added a team-best four assists along with three steals and three blocked shots. Quinn chipped in 12 points and Kam Hogan added nine points and three steals, while Zachary Nickens scored seven points, grabbed eight rebounds, and blocked three shots.
Caleb Loggins led LeTourneau with 21 points and 13 rebounds, and Nate West added 16 points, seven rebounds, five assists, and four steals for the Jackets. Justin Moore scored 15 and Caylab Herrera added 10 as LeTourneau shot 46.7% from the field and grabbed 20 offensive rebounds.