Pilots Defeat St. Thomas And Remain Tied At First In RRAC
February 16, 2012SHREVEPORT, La. - The LSU Shreveport Pilots men's basketball team extended the NAIA's longest active winning streak to 11 by defeating RRAC opponent St. Thomas (Houston, Texas) 65 - 61. Last night's victory at The Dock was the second time the Pilots were victorious over the Celts by four points. The win keeps the Pilots hopes of a Regular Season Championship alive and keeps them in a three-way tie for the lead with Texas Wesleyan University and Our Lady of the Lake University. Those two teams are set to play in Ft. Worth on Monday night.
LSUS (19-6, 17-3 RRAC) led for most of the first half but St. Thomas gathered momentum with a three-pointer at the buzzer by Jeremy Lewis to trim the LSUS' lead to just one at the break, 33-32.
The Celts (16-10, 14-6 RRAC) came out strong in the second half as they gained and held the lead for the first eight minutes but never led by more than five points as the Pilots kept it close. LSUS regained the lead for good following a long three-pointer by Mark Politte to give the Pilots a 51-49 lead as he finished with eight points.
Derrick Parker, who scored his usual double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds, converted on a three-point play with 5:30 to play in the game to give the Pilots a 56-52 lead. The next four minutes the Pilots outscored the Celts 5-2 until Greg Shyne scored three of his game-high 19 points as he completed a three-point play much like Parkers just four minutes earlier. This gave LSUS a 61-54 lead with 1:45 to play.
St. Thomas was not done yet though as they followed with a three-point play of their own to cut the LSUS' lead back to four five seconds later. With just under a minute to play the Celts made a layup to make it a one possession game with the score at 61-59.
Rydell Harris was fouled on a put back attempt with as he made the back end of a pair from the charity stripe to increase the lead for LSUS by three, 62-59. UST missed a three and Cody Walker grabbed the rebound for the Pilots and was fouled as he made both from the line to give the Pilots a five point lead with 14 seconds to play.
The visitors took one final shot but it was rejected by Parker who finished with three to end the game for a big win for the Pilots as they are propelled to the top of the RRAC standings tied with Our Lady of the Lake. Rydell Harris did a great job off the bench for the Pilots with 23 minutes of action scoring six points and pulling down seven rebounds.
The race for the regular season title has gotten a lot more interesting than people thought just a couple of weeks ago. The league leader for the majority of the season has been the Saints from OLLU. The Pilots gave them their first conference loss on January 30, 2012, and they have now dropped two more games consecutively. The steady play of Texas Wesleyan has kept them in the mix as well. There is a lot of basketball to be played for each team that is tied for the lead in the RRAC. Again, the two teams the Pilots are tied with at the moment (OLLU and TWU) are set to play Monday night in Ft. Worth.
The Pilots will be in action again this Saturday night. They will travel to Waxahachie, Texas, to play the SAGU Lions. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m.
The LSUS defense did a great job at containing one of the better three-point shooting teams in the NAIA as the Celts made just six in 17 tries.
The final home game of the season (Senior Night) will be on Monday, Feb. 27, at 7:30 against Texas College.