Pilots Down Blazers
February 27, 2009
Jackson, Miss. - In a fast paced game from the opening tip-off, the LSUS Pilots defeated the Belhaven men’s basketball team in their final home game of the regular season Thursday night in Rugg Arena 88-82. The Blazers overall record drops to 16-12 and 8-9 in the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference. The Pilots improve to 18-11 overall and 11-6 in the GCAC.
Belhaven had an early lead at 7-5 after a pair of Nathaniel Roche’ free throws with 17:09 to play in the first half, but it proved to be the only advantage they would have the rest of the night. LSUS gained an 8-7 lead on a free throw by Tyrone Hamilton with 16:13 on the first half clock and expanded the lead to five at 12-7 with 15:38 to go in the opening period.
The Pilots took an 11 point lead at 32-21 on a Derrick Parker basket with 7:33 on the first half clock. LSUS expanded their lead to 16 points at the 2:23 mark of the first half before Belhaven cut the deficit to 14 on a free throw by Roche’ right before halftime. When the buzzer sounded, the scoreboard read 47-32 in favor of the Pilots.
The Blazers made a run to get back in the game at the start of the second half pulling to within seven points at 50-43 on a field goal by Roche’ with 17:34 to go in the contest. The Pilots responded with an 18-6 run to give them their largest lead of the game at 68-49.
Belhaven did not go away hitting some key three pointers to make it a two possession game at 79-73 with 1:45 on the clock. However, that was the closest Belhaven would get the rest of the game. LSUS came away with some clutch rebounds and made seven free throws in the final 1:11 of the contest to seal the 88-82 victory.
LSUS had five players score in double figures led by Chris Gatlin with 21 points. Derrick Parker had 13 points followed by Brandon Mims and Mike Pilgrim with 12 points a piece. Tyrone Hamilton registered 11 points in the Pilot victory over the Blazers. LSUS made 50 percent of their field goals and hit 63.2 percent of their free throw opportunities.
The Blazers had three players reach double figures in scoring in Thursday night’s game. Korey Whiting had a game high 23 points and nine rebounds followed by Iman Walcott with 18 points and eight boards. Roche’ finished the night with 14 points and nine rebounds. Belhaven outrebounded the Pilots 43-36 and had 22 offensive rebounds. The Blazers made 36.1 percent of their field goals and 38.5 percent of their attempts from behind the arc.
LSUS will next host SUNO on Saturday at The Dock in the final regular season home game for the Pilots. The Pilots currently sit in a three-way tie for second place in the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference standings and can clinch a No. 2 seed in the upcoming GCAC Tournament with a win on Senior Night.
*Story courtesy of the Belhaven Sports Information Department