Azusa Pacific Upsets No. 4 LSUS, 83-69
March 21, 2008
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Senior forward Davon Roberts scored a game-high 22 points to lead Azusa Pacific University (Calif.) to an 83-69 win Friday against No. 4 seed Louisiana State University in Shreveport in the second round of the 2008 Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I Men's Basketball National Championship at Municipal Auditorium.
Roberts netted 15 of his points in the first half to lead the Cougars into their fourth consecutive national quarterfinal appearance and its eighth in the last 11 years. Azusa Pacific, the No. 13 seed in the 32-team field, goes to 24-10 overall and will square off with No. 5 Mountain State University (W.Va.) Saturday at 2 p.m. in the day's first quarterfinal contest.
Junior center David Burgess chipped in with 17 points and a team-high nine rebounds for Azusa Pacific. Senior guard Matt Oliver scored 11 of his 16 points from the free throw line in the victory. Oliver's points came in a reserve role for the Cougars, who held a 33-4 edge in bench scoring against LSUS.
LSUS led for most of the first half, taking their largest lead at 15-7 on a basket by senior guard Josh Porter with 14:27 remaining in the period. Azusa Pacific seized its first lead of the contest midway through the period before the Pilots regained its advantage. But the Cougars closed the half on a 15-3 run over the final 4:44 of play to take a 40-35 lead into the locker room. Roberts had seven points during the surge, including a three-pointer just before the first-half buzzer.
Azusa Pacific never trailed in the second half, although LSUS rallied midway through the period. The Pilots put together an 11-4 run to close the gap to 60-58 with just over eight minutes to play. But five consecutive points from Burgess stretched the Cougars' lead back to seven points and Azusa Pacific was able to pull away for the win.
All five starters scored in double figures for LSUS. Senior guard Travis Cash posted a double-double with a team-high 17 points along with 11 rebounds. Porter connected for 13 points, while senior guard J'Quincy Jones and senior center Jamon Morris each had 12 points. Morris matched Cash with 11 rebounds for the Pilots. Sophomore guard Jared Stevenson scored 11 as LSUS closed its year with a record of 31-3.
Friday's game marked the second consecutive year that Azusa Pacific and LSUS have faced each other at the NAIA Tournament. The Cougars registered a 61-52 win over the Pilots in opening-round play in 2007.