MARSHALL, Texas – After breaking a five-game losing skid on Thursday against Howard Payne, East Texas Baptist University came out of the first half of their four game road trip with a split, losing to Sul Ross St. on Saturday. ETBU ends their trip this weekend with a trip to Mississippi College on Thursday and Louisiana College on Saturday to open the second half of ASC play.
“It’s good to get a win,” said head coach Bert West about the team’s win over HPU. “We have had good success in the past against Howard Payne. The kids played a good ball game and had to come from behind. That was a good team win.”
Erby Thompson and Jamil Samuel are the only players averaging double figures this season, with Thompson averaging 12.2 ppg and Samuel averaging 10.3 ppg. Justin Felicia leads the team in rebounding at 8.1 per game and Monty Grays has 50 total assists this season, which averages to about 4.5 per game. On offense, ETBU is scoring 72 points and grabbing 39 rebounds per game while shooting 43 percent from the floor, 36 percent from three and 67 percent at the free throw line. Defensively, ETBU allows 74 points and holds opponents to 36 rebounds a game, while surrendering 43 percent shooting from the floor and 35 percent from beyond the arc.
When asked about how his team would regroup for the second half of ASC play, West replied: “We felt like we had Mississippi under control last time and they have a good strong unit. They employed a press late and got a steal and beat us late. Since then, we have done a lot of work against the press. Hopefully we can play just as well as we did last time. I feel like Louisiana College just wore us out the last time. We could not stop them. We are going to do our best to get a sweep on this road trip.”
Mississippi College comes into Thursday’s tip with a record of 5-9 overall and 3-8 in ASC play. Earlier this season in Marshall, MC won on a Lakin Ford buzzer-beater 71-70. Ford is the leading scorer for MC averaging 15.9 ppg and also leads the team in rebounding at 7.5 rpg. Rayner Frederick leads the team in assists at 3.2 per contest. As a team, MC scores 72 points and grabs 39 rebounds while shooting 45 percent from the field, 37 percent from deep and 69 percent at the free throw line. On defense, Mississippi College allows 74 points and 34 rebounds while holding opponents to 41 percent shooting from the floor and 34 percent from three.
Louisiana College will bring a record of 8-5 overall and 8-3 in the ASC into Saturday. Louisiana College defeated ETBU 89-78 in the previous matchup in Marshall back on December 5th. Anthony Gaines, Jr., the defending ASC Player of the Week, leads LC in scoring at 19.2 ppg. Gaines is also the leading rebounder at 7.8 per contest and Kevin Cottonham leads in assists at 4.7 apg. On offense, LC averages 76 points and 35 rebounds per game while shooting 43 percent from the floor, 30 percent from behind the three point arc and 69 percent at the free throw line. Defensively, they allow 80 points and 42 rebounds per game while allowing teams to shoot 47 percent from the floor and 37 percent from behind the three point line.
ETBU returns home on the 30th for an ASC tilt with UT-Tyler.
Interview with Coach Bert West