Pilots earn second straight GCAC Tournament Title with 82-62 victory over Rams
March 06, 2007
Shreveport, LA---The LSUS Pilots (25-7) had their backs against the wall heading into the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Tournament knowing that one more loss could have been their last. LSUS responded with undoubtedly their two best team performances of the season, knocking off GCAC regular season Co-Champion Xavier University 82-66 on the road in the semi-finals, and posted a convincing 82-62 victory over the University of Mobile Rams Tuesday night at The Dock in the GCAC Championship.
Pilots forward Jamon Morris scored the games first four points giving the Pilots a quick 4-0 lead.
A three point basket by Rams Steve Pellan tied the score at 4-4, and then the Pilots took over from there.
LSUS leading point scorer Blake Whittle and Morris combined for eight points over the next three minutes sparking a 12-2 LSUS run.
The Pilots built their lead to as many as nine points midway through the half on two separate occasions, however Rams leading scorer and All-GCAC selection Walter Fitzgerald connected on a three point field goal at the 8:35 mark which cut the lead to 24-18.
On the ensuing possession, Whittle responded with one of his two three pointers on the night pushing the lead back to nine points. Pilots senior forward Greg Tyer connected on back-to-back three pointers with just over two minutes remaining which stretched the lead to 42-26, and the Pilots went to the locker room ahead 44-28.
Pellan began the second half scoring five points in the first 24 seconds which quickly cut the Rams deficit to 44-33, and it looked as though the Rams were ready to make a comeback bid.
However, Tyer poured in his third three pointer of the game at the 17:31 mark pushing the Pilots back to 16 points, and the Rams never managed to mount any type of comeback as the Pilots forced 10 second half turnovers (Mobile only committed one turnover in the first half), one of which came after a Freddy Hughes steal leading to a fast break alley-oop dunk by Pilots senior Kyile Byrd which gave the Pilots their largest lead of the night, 73-47.
The scoring pace slowed down through the final seven minutes as the Pilots cruised to an 82-62 victory and claimed their second straight GCAC Tournament Championship in front of a capacity crowd at The Dock.
The Pilots dominated the Rams in all facets of the game as they out shot (52%-35%), out rebounded (44-30), handed out seven more assists (17-10), collected two more steals (8-6), and played with a swagger of a team who is going to the NAIA National Tournament in Kansas City, MO next week.
Jones led the Rams with 14 points while teammates Pellan and Rubin combined for 23 points and 11 rebounds. Brandon Price collected 10 points off the bench for the Rams who were a combined 21-of-60 from the floor, and just 4-of-19 (21%) from beyond the arc.
Three of the Pilots five starters collected double-doubles Tuesday night which included an 18 point and 11 rebound performance by Morris; an 18 points and 10 rebound performance by Whittle; and a 17 point,11 rebound night by Tyer. Travis Cash added 10 points and four assists for the Pilots who improved to 25-7 on the year with the victory.
Congratulations Pilots! 2007 GCAC Tournament Champions