Pilots drop heartbreaker, Milum sets new record
November 13, 2012
DALLAS, Tex. - The LSU Shreveport men's basketball team finished their five games in seven days schedule on Tuesday night with a 122-120 gut wrenching loss to the Paul Quinn Tigers suffering their first loss of the season. Rodney Milum tossed in a new single game school record 53 points breaking the previous record of 50 set by Brance Davenport in 2011.
The Milum air show became one to watch as the game went on. He finished converting 16 of 25 from the field and nine of 13 from downtown. The charity stripe was also a night to remember as he tossed in 12 of 15 attempts.
While Milum was excited about being the new record holder he wish that it would have been under better circumstances, " It is kind of bitter-sweet because we didn't get the win, but it is definitely a night that I will always remember. There have been a lot of great players and scorers here at LSUS, so this record is a very special one. I appreciate my coaches and teammates believing in me. They all are a part of this record because someone had to pass me the ball, others set good screens for me and coach kept finding ways to get me the ball."
LSUS Head Coach Kyle Blankenship knew that Milum had the potential to put on a performance like he did Tuesday night, "When we recruited Rodney late this summer, we knew that he was an extremely talented player. He is easily one of the best shooters I've ever played with or coached. His performance last night was phenomenal. He made big shot after big shot just to keep us in the game. For him to produce like that in a pressure-filled, down to the wire game was just an incredible thing to watch."
Milum, a senior transfer from Appalachian State and a native of Houston, Texas, had a chance to hit the game-winning shot as the buzzer sounded but his shot hit the back board, then the front of the rim, then the back board again before rolling around and out of the rim. Had that shot fallen it would have been the icing on the cake for a great night but unfortunately the Pilots had three players foul out and two play most of the second half in foul trouble with four fouls, one included Milum.
The first year coach pointed out that the missed shot at the buzzer was not the total cause for the Pilots to finish on the short side on the scoreboard, " Close games like that, especially ones on the road, usually come down to a couple of plays. There were a few plays at the end that they made and we didn't, but you cannot overlook the easy plays earlier on in the game that we failed to make.
This was the Pilots (1-1) fourth game in the past five games in which they were put to the test by some top notch players. Coach Blankenship was impressed with the Tigers, "Last night was unlike anything I have ever been a part of before. Paul Quinn's aggressive, full-court pressure really dictated the tempo of the game. We were unable to slow the game down, and the pace really took a toll on our guys considering we just played our fifth game in seven days."
While Milum had plenty to do with the Pilots being in the position they were in at the end of the game two other Pilots reached double figures with Breion Beaver providing the Pilots with a solid 20 minutes off the bench tossing in 25 points after going six of 12 from the field and 12 for 15 from the free-throw line. He did most of his scoring without the three-point line making just one of only two attempts from downtown.
Rydell Harris also had a good night for the Pilots turning in a double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds. The Pilots shot 60-percent from the field and beyond the arc while converting on 70-percent from the free-throw line.
Paul Quinn (2-0) had six different scorers in double figures with Dwayne Rogers, Jr. leading the way with 27 points while Aaron McCuin had 18. The Tigers shot 50-percent for the game but just 23-percent from downtown and was 65-percent from the free-throw line.
This game ended a four-game road trip for the Pilots in five days in which the Pilots lost all four games, but three of them did not count against their record as they faced a pair of NCAA Division II schools and NCAA power Tulsa in the final exhibition game of the road trip.
Coach Blankenship set these games up to give it the NAIA National Tournament feel so the team would know what to expect at the NAIA's Big Dance, "When we scheduled these games earlier this summer, I knew that it would be a very challenging stretch of contests for our guys. Playing five games in seven days is an NBA type schedule. It didn't help at all that the last two teams we played (Tulsa and Paul Quinn) each play extremely fast, which ultimately was too much for our kids to handle. We will take a much needed day off today, and then we will get back to work on Thursday. We are excited about the opportunity to finally play in front of our home crowd next Tuesday, and we hope that we can get back on the winning track and give our fans at "The Dock" something to cheer about."
The Pilots will begin to prepare for their home opener on Tuesday, November 20, against the Belhaven Blazers who the Pilots have already beaten this year 85-75 in Jackson. The tip-off is set for 7 p.m. at The Dock on Tuesday.