Two halves weren’t enough to decide on a winner between ETBU and UT-Tyler’s men’s basketball teams but it was ultimately the Tigers who pulled away with a 75-70 win in overtime.
The Tigers are now 10-10 over and hold an American Southwest Conference record of 7-5 while the Patriots are 8-13 overall.
The Tigers’ largest lead was 12 and the Patriots made a second half comeback to force overtime. Jordan Gray led the Tigers in scoring with 17 points. Chris Haynes was right behind him with 15 points and also led the team in rebounds with nine. Westin Riddick tossed in 12 points. Nolan Johnson scored eight points. Spencer Chochran was right behind him with seven points to go along with his eight rebounds. Nathan Fontenot also scored seven points and pulled down six rebounds and had five assists. Jacob Owens-Bush scored five points and Zach Elliott scored four.
Lense Ramey led the Patriots in scoring with 17 points. Darius Alford dropped in 15. Tyrick Bennett scored 13 points and grabbed eight rebounds. Chris Craig scored 12. Corbin Stephens scored five while Xavier Fogle came away with two points. Jared Jenkins and Bryson Power each finished the day with two points.
The Patriots started off hot with a three from Ramey but the lead was short lived as the Tigers responded with a three from Riddick to it up at 3-3. A layup from Cochran gave ETBU its first lead of the game, 5-3, and forced UT-Tyler to call timeout with 18:27 left in the first half. Haynes’ layup made it a 7-3 lead before Gray drained a three. Alford added a bucket before Cochran drained another three to spread the Tigers’ lead to 13-5 with 16:04 to go in the first half. A free throw and a three put the Patriots within four points. Craig drained a three to make it a one-point game but a layup from Elliot made it 15-12. Johnson fired a three that gave the Tigers a six-point lead, 18-12. Gray added to that with yet another three to make it a 21-12 ETBU lead. Johnson made it three straight threes and the team’s sixth by shooting from the top of the key. That gave ETBU a 24-12 lead.
Bennett’s layup cut ETBU’s lead to 24-14. Gray found a wide-open Haynes at the basket for two, spreading the Tigers’ lead to 26-14 and forcing the Patriots to call timeout. Ramey tossed in a three before Bennett rebounded a missed shot and put it up for two. Stephens went 2-for-2 from the foul line before a layup and a pair of free throws from Bennett made it a one-point game, 26-25. Fogle threw up a floater that found its way into the net to tie the game at 27. Haynes then gave the lead back to the Tigers with a layup and later a free throw. Owens-Bush went 2-for-2 from the free-throw line to score the final points of the first half and make the score 32-27 at the half.
The first half started with a layup from Gray and was followed by a three from Ramey. Fontenot’s layup was good and was followed by a jumper from Ramey. Alford came up with a steal and layup to make the score 38-34. Threes from Riddick and Fontenot made the score 44-38. Moments later, Haynes came up with a layup to lift his team back to double digits, 48-38. Bennett scored on a layup and added a free throw to complete the three-point play, bringing the Patriots within nine points. He then added another layup to make it a seven-point game.
Riddick brought his team’s lead back up to 10 with a three, making the score 53-43. The lead was 11 before Ramey drained a three, making the score 55-47. Alford took his turn at making a three, cutting the Tigers’ lead down to five points, 55-50 with 7:43 left in regulation. A jumper from Bennett made it a one-possession game before a free throw from Craig made the score 55-53. Haynes brought the lead back to four points before Ramey drained a three to bring it to one point. Riddick fired a three to spread his team’s lead to 60-56. A layup from Elliot made it a 62-56 game. Craig went a combined 6-for-6 on his next two trips to the foul line to make it 64-62. Alford tied it up at 64 with a layup with 1:33 remaining. The Patriots missed a shot as the seconds ticked. The Tigers rebounded the ball and called timeout with 13 seconds remaining. A missed shot from ETBU meant more time was needed to decide on a winner as the two teams headed to overtime.
The first points of overtime came at the free throw line where Gray went 2-for-2. Cochran did the same to make it a 68-64 lead. Alford’s layup cut the Tigers’ lead back to two points with 2:09 left on the clock. Alford went 2-for-2 from the line to tie the game up at 68. Gray then broke that tie with a three from the top of the key, making it 71-68 with 41 seconds to go. ETBU’s defense got the ball back to its offense and Haynes was sent to the foul line where he made both shots to make it 73-68. Jenkins then made two foul shots to make the score 73-70 with six seconds to go. Gray received the in-bounds pass and was immediately fouled and sent to the line where he put the nail in the coffin by sinking both shots. UT-Tyler came threw up a half-court shot that was no good and the Tigers held on to win 75-70.
ETBU will be on the road Thursday when it goes up against Behlaven while the Patriots will take on UT-Dallas.