Azusa Pacific (Calif.) Rallies For 61-56 Win Over LSU-Shreveport
March 14, 2007
No. 10 Cougars overcome 13-point deficit in second half to advance
March 14, 2007
Kansas City, Mo. - Azusa Pacific University (Calif.) used a big second-half comeback to post a 61-56 victory against Louisiana State University-Shreveport in the first round of the 2007 Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I Men's Basketball National Championship Wednesday at Municipal Auditorium.
The Cougars rallied from a 13-point deficit with just under 13 minutes to play to reach the second round of tournament play. Azusa Pacific, the No. 10 seed, will face either Park University (Mo.) or Olivet Nazarene University (Ill.) Friday at 6:15 p.m. CDT. Azusa Pacific, which has won its last five games, moves to 28-6 on the season. This marks the fourth consecutive year that the Cougars have advanced to the second round of NAIA national tournament play.
LSU-Shreveport took its largest lead of the contest, 43-30, when junior guard Carlton Simmons made three free throws with 12:51 to play. Azusa Pacific slowly started to chip away at the deficit, and pulled to within 52-50 when senior center Brice Prather sank a pair of foul shots with 4:19 remaining. The Cougars eventually tied the game before senior guard Freddie Hughes scored with 1:50 on the clock to help LSU-Shreveport regain a 56-54 advantage.
Azusa Pacific closed the game by scoring the final seven points, including a basket by Prather with 37 seconds left that gave the Cougars the lead for good. In the final 20 seconds, Azusa Pacific hit all four of its free throw attempts to seal the victory.
Prather led the Cougars with 14 points, while junior guard Matt Oliver came off the bench to post 10 points. Senior forward Scott Zea pulled down a team-leading nine rebounds for Azusa Pacific.
Junior center Jamon Morris paced LSU-Shreveport with 17 points and a game-high 10 rebounds. Hughes connected for 16 points as the Pilots finish the 2006-07 season with a record of 25-8.