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December 13, 2015

BASKETBALL(W): MARSHALL, Texas (12/12/15) - Going on an 11-5 run over three minute time span in the fourth quarter after the game was tied at 51, the East Texas Baptist University women's basketball held on for their eighth win of the year, 68-60, over Rust College (1-8). ETBU was tied at 51 with 7:43 to go and with the run took a 62-56 lead as they improved to 6-0 at home and 8-2 overall.

"It's good to get a win heading into Christmas break," said Coach Edsel Hamilton. "We have a really long break before our next game. I really stressed to the girls today to give me all you got. You have plenty of time to get rested up and we really cranked the intensity up in the fourth quarter and were able to pull it out."

ETBU had three players scoring in double figures as Taylee Alexander led her team with 17 points and eight rebounds. April Leonard finished with 15 points, five rebounds, five steals, and three assists while Morgan Garrett had 12 points, all of them on three pointers.

Garrett talked about her performance in helping the team win. "I think most of that was just my teammates finding me when I'm open. I just did the same thing, ran the offense, found the open places and my teammates got the ball to me and I think a big thing was get it inside to our post and they did a great job of kicking it back out."

Other contributions came from Cekret Davis who handed out six assists, six steals, and seven rebounds while Delia Hopkins had five rebounds. For Rust College, Jasmine Golden led the team with 22 points.

In the first quarter, ETBU outscored Rust 18-9. ETBU jumped out to huge leads of 7-2 and 12-4. Rust college got to within 12-8 mark with 2:36 to play in the quarter before baskets by Leonard and Taylee Alexander gave ETBU a 6-1 run to finish the Alexander scored six points in the first quarter while Garrett and Davis also had points in the quarter.

The second quarter saw ETBU increase their lead to 22-11 on lay-ups by Alexander. After Rust came to within 22-16, ETBU applied four more points to extend the lead back to double digits. For the rest of the quarter, Rust College would battle their way back to finish on an 11-7 run. ETBU led by five before a pair of Leonard free-throws followed by a Garrett three-pointer to make it a ten point lead. Rust would cut the deficit to 33-27 by the end of the first half.

Both teams scored 16 points in the third quarter. Rust was able to get within 36-33 before a pair of Lauren Lee?s free throws prevented Rust from getting closer. ETBU would march to eight to ten point leads on a three pointer by Tevaria Council and a layup by Lee. At that point, it was 47-37 with 2:26 to play. Rust would close the quarter on a 6-2 run trailing 49-43.

ETBU managed to win the fourth quarter by outscoring Rust 19-17. Rust would start the quarter strong by tying the game at 51 with 7:34 to play. But a Cekret Davis lay-up plus two three-pointers by Garrett and one by Leonard gave ETBU a 62-56 lead at 4:29 to play. Rust would cut the lead to 62-58 before layups by Davis and Alexander sealed the deal.

"We try to battle hard," said Taylee Alexander. "We just really try to listen to what coach says and execute our plays. I think that we came out in the second half and picked our intensity up and I think that really helped us in the second half."

As a group, ETBU outshot Rust 40 percent to 36 percent from the field, 25 percent to 21 percent from behind the arc and 57 percent to 54 percent from the free-throw line. ETBU also won the rebounding battle by one 37-36 and dished out 20 assists to Rust's nine.

ETBU will return for the first game of the 2016 year on Saturday January 2nd at 1:00 p.m. when they host Concordia (Texas).

#TIGERSWIN: ETBU's Run in 2nd Half Spurts Victory
BASKETBALL (M): MARSHALL, Texas (12/12/15) - Down three points, 61-58, with nine minutes to go in the game, East Texas Baptist University went on an 11-0 run in three minutes to take an eight-point lead over Rust College (4-9), 69-61, moving on for the 88-79 victory. ETBU is now 7-1 overall as they head into the Christmas break and improved their home winning streak to 26 games.

Four players scored at least 10 points for ETBU, including Junior Mitchell who had a game-high 21 points. In the second half alone, Mitchell scored 13 points. He also chipped in five rebounds, two assists and three steals.

"We all got it together, picked it up, made that run and got the win," said Mitchell.

Bret Atkins had 15 points, six rebounds and two assists, while Isaiah Thomas came off the bench and shot six-of-six from the field and totaled 12 points, three rebounds and two steals.

After a scoreless first-half performance, Jamil Samuel had 13 second-half points. He finished the day with 13 points, 11 rebounds and two blocked shots. Curtis Stuckey led Rust College with 15 points.

"We wanted to finish with a win," said Samuel before heading into the Christmas break.

ETBU led the entire first half with a lead of 13 at one point which was the largest of the game, 38-25, on a three-pointer by Jay McKnight. ETBU was up 7-6 early in the game and went on a 13-5 run over four minutes for a 20-11 lead. That run also ended in a McKnight three-pointer. Atkins scored six points in the run. ETBU had an 11-point lead, 38-27, with 5:36 to go in the half but each team couldn?t find the rim for the next two minutes until Thomas banked in a lay up for a 40-27 lead. Thomas scored six points in a minute in a half to make it 44-32 as Rust cut the lead to eight, 44-36 at the half.

Ahead by a 44-36 margin at the half, ETBU momentarily fell behind as Rust used a second-half spurt to claim the lead, 61-58, with 9:03 remaining in regulation. In those final nine-plus minutes, however, ETBU shot eight-of-10 from the floor (80.0 percent) and converted 11 free throws to emerge victorious. In the 11-0 run in the four minutes that ETBU retook the lead, Samuel had six points on two three-pointers and Thomas added four with an Atkins free throw.

For the game, ETBU shot 49.3 percent (34-of-69) and hit 53.8 percent of its shots in the second half (14-of-26). In comparison, Rust shot exactly 50.0 percent (34-of-68). ETBU held a 48-to-30 advantage in rebounding.

ETBU returns to action on Christmas break competing in the University of Texas-Tyler Classic. On Dec. 29, ETBU faces Southwestern (Texas) University at 3 p.m.