Pilots continue to win despite tough road schedule
December 29, 2004
Fort Worth, TX---The LSUS Pilots traveled to Fort Worth, TX Monday to partake in the 2004 Wings “N” More Wesleyan Classic. The Pilots squared off against Missouri Valley College Vikings (9-4) in game one of the tournament and picked up an 84-79 win over the Vikings to improve to 9-4 on the season. The Pilots hit the floor again Tuesday afternoon versus the Morningside College Mustangs (7-8), and despite not scoring from the field in the last seven minutes of play, collected their 10th win of the season by a final score of 83-79.
In game one versus the Vikings, LSUS point guard Justin Collins carried the Pilots offense scoring 19 of his career high 28 points in the second half. The Pilots were trailing by 6 with 2:00 remaining in regulation when Collins connected on a four point play. Collins went on to score 12 points in the final two minutes which was enough to lift the Pilots Vikings.
Collins finished with a game high 28 points and 6 rebounds while Fredericko Payne finished with 27 points, 4 steals and 3 assists. Derrick Rogers pitched in with 15 points and 3 steals. The Pilots finished shooting 42.2% from the field. The Pilots struggled from beyond the arc only connecting on 8-26 attempts, but capitalized on 22-27 free throw attempts.
Mike Atkinson finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds for the games only double-double. Vikings. John Boswell finished 15 points to lead the Vikings scoring, followed by Chris Ealim with 13, and Ramone Powell with 11. The Vikings finished shooting 49.2% from the field. The Vikings were 0-7 from the three point line in the second half and finished 6-18 in the game while connecting on just 13-20 free throw attempts.
The Pilots hit the floor again Tuesday afternoon versus the Morningside College Mustangs. The Pilots trailed 44-43 at the half but managed to build a 78-66 lead at the 7:19 mark after a made jumper by Collins. The Pilots however failed to score from the field the rest of the way and allowed the Mustangs to cut the lead to 81-79 with 0:47 remaining. The Pilots forced a Mustangs turnover with 0:04 left who were then force to foul and sent Collins to the free throw line with only 0:02 remaining. Collins connected on both attempts to put the game away for the Pilots.
“I can’t say enough about how our guys stepped up this week,” commented Pilots graduate assistant Jon Unger. Unger is a native of El Dorado, AR and served as an assistant coach under Nolan Richardson at the University of Arkansas from 2001-2003. “We have played a very tough schedule to start this season and to finish 7-4 on the road and head into conference action with a 10-4 record boasts very well for our team,” concluded Unger.
The Pilots have now concluded their non-conference play. Three of the four Pilots losses this season have been at the hands of NCAA Division I opponents, with the fourth being against NCAA Division II Texas A&M- Commerce. The Pilots will be in action at the Dock January 6 when they will play host to the Belhaven College Blazers.
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