Raining 3's at the HPC - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Raining 3's at the HPC

Posted By Coleman Swierc

TYLER, TEXAS (UT-Tyler Sports Information) - With the 3-point contest less than 2 hours away tonight in Dallas as part of the NBA's All-Star Weekend festivities, the host UT Tyler Patriots made their case for six different contestants after connecting on a school-record 17 3s in a 94-66 route of Ozarks Saturday afternoon in the Herrington Patriot Center.

UT Tyler (13-9, 9-8 ASC) remained in fourth place in the race for the final playoff spot in the ASC East and capped off a season sweep of the Eagles in the lopsided win. Four Patriots scored in double figures, led by senior Dexter McMarion's career-high 23 points off 9-of-12 shooting from the floor.

Junior Michael Johnson got UT Tyler started off on the right foot and set the tone for the night, connecting on back-to-back 3s to open the game in giving the Patriots an early lead.

After falling behind by as many as six with just over 10 minutes to play in the opening half, senior Neal Welch connected on the first of his five 3-pointers on the day to help the Patriots pull within three. UT Tyler then closed the half on a 15-4 run after trailing 29-25, capped by McMarion's 3-ball just before the halftime buzzer off a Welch assist.

The Patriots' hot shooting carried into the second half, as they connected on 9-of-13 shots in the first 12 minutes to pull away from what was a 40-40 game at the 17:53 mark. UT Tyler stretched its lead into double figures thanks to another Welch three at 58-47 and never looked back.

After trading baskets the ensuing 5 minutes, the flood gates opened up for the Patriots and everything started to fall. UT Tyler finished the game with back-to-back-to-back 3s from McMarion, T.J. Shaw and Brandon Levine, closing the game with 31 of the final 45 points for the blowout win.

UT Tyler finished the game shooting a season-high 57 percent from the floor, including 59 percent from 3-point land, and saw 10 different players find the scoring column. McMarion's career-high 23 was complemented by 20 from Johnson, 15 from Welch and 13 from Hakeem Kareem.

With the win, the Patriots maintain a one-game lead for the final playoff spot in the East at 9-8 in the league with LeTourneau (8-10) and Louisiana College (7-10) close behind. They'll continue a four-game homestand to close the year on Monday, welcoming 20th-ranked UT-Dallas to the HPC for a 7:30 p.m. tip-off.

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