UT Tyler notches 4th straight victory, after beating Arkansas-Fort Smith 79-71 on Saturday

Local Sports

TYLER, TEXAS – Da’Zhon Wyche went for a career-high 30 as UT Tyler extended their winning streak to four with a 79-71 win over UAFS on Saturday afternoon.
 
The Patriots (6-9, 5-9 LSC) once again proved to be effective with their intense ball pressure, forcing UAFS (3-9, 3-9 LSC) into 23 turnovers, the second game in a row that UT Tyler forced the Lions into 20 or more turnovers. UT Tyler scored 22 points off of those turnovers and matched their season best three-point percentage of the season, previously set in last night’s 96-91 double overtime win over the Lions, with a 42.9 percent (9-of-21) mark from beyond the three-point arc.
 
Those factors combined with a fast start that saw UT Tyler lead 14-5 just four minutes into the contest allowed UT Tyler to survive a second-half push by the Lions. UT Tyler continued to wear down the Lions and eventually regained control of the contest, leading by as many as 10 with 50 seconds left.
 
The win is the Patriots fourth straight and moves their overall record to 6-9 on the season. UT Tyler’s next schedule game is set for next Saturday at Texas A&M International at 3:30.
 
How it Happened: Soloman Thomas got the scoring started quickly for the Patriots on Saturday afternoon, knocking down his first two three-point attempts to open up a 6-2 lead for UT Tyler less than two minutes into play. Wyche added to the three-point makes with a pair of his own a few minutes later to pad a 14-5 Patriot advantage with 16:07 remaining in the half.
 
That lead would extend out to 14 at the 8:32 mark with the score at 23-9 before UAFS scored eight unanswered free throws to close out the first half and draw the score to 31-28 in favor of the Patriots.
 
UAFS took their first lead since the opening seconds of the ball game coming out of the halftime break with a three-point shot from Elijah Anderson to jump ahead 38-36. Both teams refused to give an inch over the next few minutes before a 7-0 run by the Patriots gave them their first sustained lead of the second half, 49-43 with 13:07 left in the game.
 
UAFS tried to work themselves back into the game with just under eight left on the clock, narrowing the scoring margin down to 63-59 and then again down to just one possession at the 4:13 mark, but never could tie the contest up as the Patriot defensive pressure and 17 second-half points from Wyche proved to be too much for the Lions. The final dagger from Wyche came at the 1:04 mark on his fourth made three-point of the game to give UT Tyler the 75-67 advantage with just over a minute left.
 
Two more Wyche free throws extended that lead out to 77-67 with just over 30 seconds left before the final score ended up at 79-71.
 
By the Numbers: UT Tyler shot 45.3 percent (24-of-53) from the field for the night including a 52.0 percent (13-of-25) performance in the second half… The Patriots made 6-of-15 three-point attempts in the first half and 3-of-6 from three-point range in the second half… The Patriots were able to overcome a 36-to-23 rebounding margin for the night by committing just nine turnovers in comparison to the Lion’s 23… UT Tyler recorded 12 total steals as a team and three blocks… UAFS shot 47.8 percent (22-of-46) from the field and made 5-of-10 three pointers in the second half… The Lions also shot 91.3 percent (21-of-23) from the free throw line.
 
Patriot Standouts: Wyche added four steals to his 30-point effort, going 9-for-17 from the field and 4-of-7 from three-point range… Thomas also added four three pointers, going 4-for-6 for the game in route to 18 points… Micah Fuller was the other Patriot to total double-digit points, going for 10… Emanuel Gant led UT Tyler with five rebounds… Wyche was perfect from the free-throw line, going 8-for-8
 
Up Next: UT Tyler will travel to Laredo next Saturday for a meeting with Texas A&M International at 3:30 p.m.

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