Lady Pilots Advance to GCAC Finals, National Tournament With 59-56 Win Over Xavier
March 06, 2009
Shreveport, La. – The LSUS Lady Pilots will make their first-ever GCAC Tournament finals and NAIA National Tournament appearance after defeating the Xavier Gold Nuggets 59-56 on Friday night at The Dock.
The Lady Pilots held off a furious rally by the Gold Nuggets over the final minutes, as Jasmine Grant’s game-tying three-pointer fell just short as time expired.
LSUS led by as many as ten points with just over one minute remaining before Xavier the game’s next nine points. Valerie Huizar then stepped up and nailed a pair of free throws with seven seconds remaining to put the Lady Pilots back ahead by three before Grant missed on her game-tying attempt.
Xavier led by one at the break and extended their lead out to four points at the 12:25 mark on a made basket by SiMon Franklin. However, LSUS responded with a huge 10-0 run over the next five minutes capped off by a Quan Joseph layup.
Once again, it was the defensive end of the court that propelled the Lady Pilots to their 27th victory of the season. LSUS used another tenacious defensive effort to earn a hard fought win over the visitors from New Orleans, as they held Xavier to 31% shooting for the game and just 3-for-17 from behind the three-point line.
Joseph led the Lady Pilots with a game-high 13 points, while Tish Flowers and Huziar also finished in double figures with 12 and 10 points respectively.
Janai Sells pulled down a game-high 13 rebounds in the win.
With the win, LSUS will travel to face Loyola of New Orleans in the GCAC Tournament finals on Monday night. Since Loyola has already received the conference’s first automatic bid to the National Tournament after winning the regular season title outright, the Lady Pilots will receive the GCAC’s second automatic bid win or lose on Monday night.
Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 P.M. on Monday night and fans will be able to listen to the game live over the internet via Teamline and LSUS play-by-play announcer Travis Schurling.