No. 8 Pilots Handed First Loss
November 12, 2008
Without the magic of Tyrone Hamilton's first-game effort, the LSUS Pilots squandered a 17-point second-half lead and lost Tuesday night at The Dock, when Jarvis Christian College escaped with an 86-85 win.
Both teams lived at the free-throw line for most of the second half, as the officiating crew whistled 53 fouls in an effort to maintain control of a game that was, at times, headed out of control.
And it was a free throw by the Bulldogs' David Green with 5 seconds remaining that secured the win.
"We made some bad decisions shooting shots we shouldn't have shot in the first half or we would have been up by 30," LSUS coach Chad McDowell said. "Every second matters in a game and we need to put people away early when we have the chance."
The Pilots (1-1) went in front 58-41 six minutes into the second half, but the Bulldogs immediately began whittling away at the lead. Jarvis got the LSUS advantage down to one point with about 6 minutes to play on a Mitchell Johnson 3-pointer, and took their first lead with 4 minutes to play on another Johnson 3.
The lead then see-sawed until a layup by Mahershal Simonet and a steal and layup by Deveon Jenkins gave the Bulldogs (3-1) an 83-80 lead with about a minute and a half to play. That appeared to seal the deal for the visitors until the Pilots' Jared Stevenson nailed a three from the top of the key to knot the game with 36 seconds to play.
But Hamilton fouled Green on a drive with five seconds left and the guard knocked down one free throw for the game winner. The Pilots were unable to secure the rebound on Green's missed second shot.
Although Hamilton converted 15 of 17 free throws and finished with a team-leading 24 points, he was just 4 of 17 from the field, including 1 of 8 from behind the arc. Stevenson had one of his best games with 23 points, dropping in 6 of 10 from the field. Also in double digits for the Pilots were Chris Gatlin with 17 and Derrick Parker with 13.
Johnson topped the visitors with 22 points, while Simonet added 13 and Jenkins 12.
The Pilots jumped out of the gate quickly, getting in front 7-0 on a dunk by Parker and a 3-pointer by Stevenson, but the Bulldogs climbed back in the game on a 3-pointer by Simonet. LSUS led just 9-7 five minutes into the contest, but a 23-10 run over the next seven minutes, keyed by a trio of 3-pointers by Gatlin, put the Pilots in front 32-17.
When Hamilton hit his first field goal of the contest, at the 1:44 mark, his conventional three-point play gave the Pilots' their largest first-half lead at 45-27. The visitors closed the gap a little by the break, but LSUS still led 48-34.
The Pilots controlled the boards in the first half 31-21, while shooting 45 percent from the field, mostly because Parker and Gatlin were a combined 8 of 11 from the field. The Bulldogs could manage just a 30 percent mark and converted just 6 of 21 from behind the arc.
*Story Courtesy of the Shreveport Times' Jimmy Watson