Pilots claim Back-to-Back GCAC Championships
February 27, 2006
Shreveport, LA---After being ranked No. 1 in the latest NAIA national polls, the LSUS Pilots were pretty much a lock to qualify for an at large birth to the NAIA National Tournament in Kansas City, MO. The Pilots however punched their tickets to KC this past weekend by becoming the 2006 Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Champions, which earns them an automatic birth in the field of 32 teams.
The combination of a convincing 101-81 win over the William Carey College Crusaders Saturday night, and an 82-75 victory by the University of Mobile Rams over the Spring Hill College Badgers concluded the 2006 GCAC regular season schedule. At 25-3 overall and 12-2 in the GCAC, the Pilots finished one game ahead of the Badgers and Rams who tied for second place with a 9-3 overall conference record.
“It is a great feeling. We fought through some tough times early in the conference season and responded with some key performances down the stretch,” commented Pilots Head Coach Chad McDowell.
As excited as the Pilots are about becoming the first team at LSUS to ever win back-to-back GCAC Championships, they are just as excited at the opportunity to be the top seed in the GCAC Conference Tournament which will begin Thursday night at The Dock.
“Winning a conference championship is never an easy task, especially in a conference as strong as the GCAC. As rewarding as it is to have done so, the biggest reward may be the fact that we have the opportunity as the top seed in the GCAC to host our tournament games,” comments McDowell.
The GCAC was forced to restructure the GCAC Tournament this season due to the effects of Hurricane Katrina, and has opted to play each game at the site of the highest seed based on the regular season standings.
“This is the greatest reward our player’s could have received. We have some of the best fans in the country attend our games and their support continues to show in our attendance numbers. Our guys love playing at home in front of their families and friends, and if we continue to play the way have been over the past couple of weeks, they may get to play at The Dock three more times this season,” concludes McDowell.
The first round of the GCAC Tournament begins Thursday, March 2 and will see the Pilots play host to the Southern University of New Orleans Knights at 7:00pm. The Pilots swept the regular season series 2-0 with a 112-80 win at home and a 112-86 win on the road.
The winner of Thursday’s contest will advance to the semi-finals Saturday night and will face the winner between the #4 Belhaven College VS #5 William Carey College. Tip-off is also scheduled for 7:00pm.
The GCAC Championship game is scheduled for March the 7th and will be played at the highest remaining seeds home floor.
Tickets for each game are $5 for general admission, LSUS students with a valid ID $2, and children under 12 are $2.
For more information, please call the LSUS athletic department at 318-797-5194.