5 years ago
Bruno Ifebi
Mercury Staff

Men hoping to claim crown again

The Comets are on a roll as they finished their holiday play. 


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The Comets (10-4, 6-3 ASC) opened up the new year and second half of the season with a 4-0 record, cruising past Austin College, Sul Ross State, Howard Payne and East Texas Baptist on Jan. 1, 3, 5 and 10, respectively. 

UTD blew out East Texas Baptist 79-49 at home on Jan. 10 to extend its winning streak to four.

With the ejection of the ETBU head coach Bert West with 12:27 left to play and the Comets leading 43-31, the team  went on a 36-18 run to complete its second straight 30-point victory.

Junior forward Dmitriy Chernikov led the team in scoring with a career-high 22 points, while junior forward Kyle Schleigh finished with his sixth double-double of the season with 15 points and game-high 10 rebounds.

Averaging just over 70 points per game and limiting their turnovers, the Comets look revitalized after a threegame losing skid in the second half of December.

Schleigh was once again named ASC Men’s East Division Player of the Week by the league on Jan. 7, making this his fourth honor this season. He is averaging 20 points, 9.4 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game.

“Kyle is off to a good start and is a very important part of what we are doing,” head coach Terry Butterfield said. “For our team to be successful, Kyle has to have an impact on the game in all areas- offense, defense, and rebounding.”

Currently in second place in the East as of Jan. 11, the Comets are halfway done with the season and are looking good to make the playoffs at the end, but Butterfield knows that his team is more than capable of taking the divisional crown. 

”Our goal every year is to win our division,” Butterfield said. “There are a lot of games left and everything is very much up in the air at this point.” 

With nine key conference games left, the Comets must remain taking control of the boards, shooting at a high percentage and get a spark from their bench if they look to be back to back ASC East Champions. 

“Our goal each time out is to win a game and put ourselves in position to win the division,” Butterfield said.

The Comets took on UT Tyler and Trinity at home on Jan 12 and 14, respectively. They will continue their conference play against Louisiana College on Jan. 17.