Mountain State Ousts LSUS in Tournament Opener
March 18, 2009
Kansas City, Mo. – Fifth-seeded Mountain State (W. Va.) University posted an 88-76 come-from-behind victory over Louisiana State University in Shreveport in the first game of the 2009 Buffalo Funds NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament at Municipal Auditorium Wednesday morning.
The Cougars, who trailed 35-31 at the half, shot a blistering 54.5 percent from the field in the second half in outscoring the Pilots 57-41. Tony Brown led the way for Mountain State, scoring 19 of his 22 points in the second half. Anthony Pigram added 14 of his 17 points in the second 20 minutes. LSUS wasn’t much worse, making 45.5 percent of its field goal attempts. Tyrone Hamilton led the Pilots, scoring all 16 of his points in the second half, and giving his team a 46-38 advantage before the Cougars mounted their run.
LSUS took a 35-31 halftime lead behind the shooting of Chris Gatlin, who scored 12 of his team-high 19 points in the first half. Gatlin buried three 3-pointers in the opening 20 minutes and had four treys in the game. Both teams struggled from the field in the opening half with LSUS shooting 35.3 percent and Mountain State connecting on 34.4 percent from the field. Mountain State’s Nick Aldridge led all scorers with 26 points on 10 of 13 shooting. He netted 17 his points in the first half, keeping the Cougars in the game.
Jared Stevenson and Derrick Parker also reached double figures for LSUS, scoring 12 and 10 points, respectively. Andrew Lee grabbed a game-high 14 rebounds for Mountain State, while Brown dished out six assists to go along with his scoring output.
Mountain State, which improves to 28-4 on the season, advances to Friday’s 10:45 a.m. CDT contest where they will play either Oklahoma Christian or Concordia University (Calif.). LSUS finishes at 22-12.
The first points of the 2009 Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball National Championship were made on a three-pointer by LSUS’s Clarke Jackson . LSUS took a 40-31 lead early in the second-half, but Mountain State outscored the Pilots 57-36 the rest of the way . Mountain State improves to 19-9 all-time in tournament games, including 8-3 in first-round contests . LSUS falls to 2-5 all-time in tournament game.