Perfection for Patriots: UT Tyler's women go undefeated in confe - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Perfection for Patriots: UT Tyler's women go undefeated in conference

Coach Kendra Hassell on the sidelines Coach Kendra Hassell on the sidelines


 Michelle Obach scored a program-record 38 points and No. 5-ranked UT Tyler finished off an undefeated American Southwest Conference season with an 88-69 win over Texas-Dallas on Saturday in the final regular-season game of the season at the Herrington Patriot Center.

The Patriots (24-1, 15-0 ASC) secured the first undefeated run through conference play in program history and will enter the postseason riding a 16-game winning streak. UT Tyler, which claimed the ASC East Division Championship three weeks ago, will host next week’s ASC Championship Tournament and will start their quest for their second tournament title in program history at 7:30 p.m. against Concordia. The winner of that game would play at 7:30 p.m. on Friday in the semifinals and for the right to play in the championship game at 4 p.m. on Saturday at the HPC.

“It’s very difficult to win even one game in the American Southwest Conference, much less to go undefeated,” UT Tyler head coach Kendra Hassell said. “I could not be more proud of our team and the consistent effort, dedication, mental toughness and focus they brought to practice and games throughout conference play. This is a team full of competitors and they have risen to the challenge each time we have faced adversity.”

Obach would break her own program record after going 6-for-8 on 3-pointers and 12 of 14 from the free-throw line to top her 37 points against LeTourneau earlier this season that broke her previous program record of 36 points last year against Sul Ross. Obach, who leads the Patriots with 17.4 points per game, has now hit 93 3-pointers in her career which is the sixth most in program history. A junior from Tyler, Obach now has four games with six or more 3-poitners in her career, including two games where she hit seven 3-pointers.

Alex Kochner scored a career-best 23 points for the Patriots with 10 free throws and was one rebound away from her third double-double of the season after grabbing nine rebounds against the Comets. Kochner, a junior who transferred in this season, would also add four assists and three steals. She led the Patriots throughout the regular season with 7.2 rebounds per game and is also averaging 10.2 points per game. Makenzi May would be limited to six points, but did hit two 3-pointers to take her career total to 150 while Shuntay Raglin added seven points and Re’Elle Miller had six.

UT Tyler finished the game with 12 3-pointers, including going 8-for-16 in the first half to take a 44-22 lead into halftime. The Patriots, while finished the game with a 33-6 scoring advantage off turnovers and earned their 19th double-digit win of the season and the six straight. The Patriots swept the regular-season series with the Comets after also earning a 92-55 win in Richardson back in January.

UT Tyler enters the postseason for the second straight season with only one loss and is 12-0 at home this season.  

“It was great to finish the regular season at home as we head into the conference tournament,” Hassell said. “We have shot the ball well in our gym recently and are playing at a high level. The season basically starts over at this point, so it’s important to stay focused and approach each game like it could be our last. We will have to play our best basketball of the season to win the tournament.”

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