Pilots and Rams ready to rumble for GCAC Championship
March 06, 2007
Shreveport, LA---The LSUS Pilots (24-7) will look to defend their 2006 Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Tournament crown Tuesday night at The Dock as they will play host to the University of Mobile Rams (18-14) in the 2007 GCAC Tournament Championship at 7:00pm.
The Pilots swept the two game conference series in 2007 with a 76-71 home victory, and a 68-67 road decision which was highlighted by Jamon Morris’ game winning free-throw with 0:00.2 seconds remaining on the clock.
Despite having earned an “At-Large Bid” to the NAIA National Tournament which will be held March 14-20 in Kansas City, MO, the Pilots feel as though they still have a lot riding on tonight’s contest.
“Our goal every year is to be a championship contender, and tonight is the GCAC Tournament championship game. I am very proud of our guys for staying together and battling there way through a very tough season, both on and off the floor. Their will was tested and they knew coming into this tournament that one loss could be their last loss of the season. Fortunately, I believe the teams and the players that have preceded this group built a winning tradition and name for the LSUS Basketball program which has been rewarded by remaining in the NAIA Top 30, which ultimately has punched our ticket to KC. Our goal however was to win the GCAC for the 3rd consecutive season, but we fell short by one game. We now have a second chance to meet our goal and prove that we are the No. 1 team in GCAC, that we do deserve to be in KC, and that we will be a force to reckon with once we get there,” commented Pilots Head Coach Chad McDowell.
Having earned the higher tournament seed, the Pilots will enjoy the luxury of the home court advantage of The Dock where they have posted a 14-2 record through 2006-2007. The Pilots are a combined 51-7 at The Dock since reinstating the program in 2003.
While the Pilots are excited about the opportunity to cut the nets down at The Dock for the second straight season, the UM Rams are fighting to keep their season alive, and earn an automatic bid to KC.
UM has advanced to the GCAC Championship by defeating the William Carey College Crusaders (19-11, 11-7) on the road 80-76 in Round I. The Rams continued their travels to Tougaloo, MS where they topped the No.1 seeded Tougaloo College Bulldogs 78-73 just two days later which has extended their current winning streak to five games.
The Rams use an in your face style defense which has held opponents to 67.1 points per game, and look for GCAC All-Conference shooting guard Walter Fitzgerald to lead the way on the offensive end. Fitzgerald leads all UM scorers averaging nearly 14 points per contest, and is currently ranked 14th in the NAIA with a .576 shooting percentage.
In addition to the highly anticipated GCAC Championship, Tuesday night will mark six Pilots players last collegiate game to ever be played at The Dock. A special presentation preceding the 7:00pm tip-off will be held to honor these six student athletes, and we would like to welcome everyone to come out and show your Pilots pride one last time as the Pilots continue their quest in becoming GCAC Champions.
For those fans not in attendance, all of tonight’s action can be followed live with the voice of the Pilots, Mark Cantrell, and his partner Travis Schurling via Teamline Play-by--Play broadcasting. Please visit www.lsus.edu/mensbasketball/ and click the Teamline listen live icon at the bottom left corner of the page. Pre-game show will begin at 6:45pm.
Fans can also access up to the minute stats and scores via Dakstats Webcast which is also available at: www.lsus.edu/mensbasketball/. Just click the “view live webcast” icon at the bottom left corner of the page.
Ticket prices for Thursday night’s contest are as follows:
General Admission: $5.00
Children 12 and under: $2.00
*Season passes will not be accepted throughout the postseason due to Gulf Coast Athletic Conference regulations.
*No coaching membership cards accepted (other than NAIA memberships)