Pilots Hold Off Gold Rush in GCAC Opener
January 08, 2009
SHREVEPORT, La. – LSUS used a late 10-3 second half run to pull away from the visiting Xavier University Gold Rush and hang on for an 80-74 victory in the conference opener on Thursday night at The Dock.
Seniors Tyrone Hamilton and Chris Gatlin combined for 43 of the Pilots 81 points, as LSUS moved to 8-5 overall and 1-0 in Gulf Coast Athletic Conference play. Point guard Jared Stevenson scored 13 of his 15 points in the final 20 minutes of action, while also dishing out a game-high 7 assists in the win.
The two teams exchanged blow-for-blow in the first half, as the Pilots entered the break with a one-point lead (39-38). The Gold Rush led by as many as six points after opening the second half with an 11-4 run, but the Pilots would respond with an 18-5 run of their own, capped off by two Mike Pilgrim free throws, to take back the lead for good. Pilgrim scored 10 points in his LSUS debut.
Xavier trimmed the LSUS lead down to five with just five minutes to play, but back-to-back baskets by Stevenson and a huge three from the corner by John Anthony Anglin pushed the Pilot lead by to 10 at the 3:44 mark.
The Pilots shot 52% from the field in the contest, while holding the Gold Rush to just 39%. Although the Pilots struggled from the three-point line, they found ways to attack the basket and find their way to the charity stripe. LSUS made 21 free throws on the night, while knocking down 80% of their attempts.
Xavier was led by Shaun Dumas’ 18 points, while Olumide Olafioye finished with 15. Cornelius Kennedy and Michael Harvey each finished in double figures with 13 and 11 points respectively.
LSUS will take on Spring Hill College on Saturday night at The Dock, while the Gold Rush will head over to Jackson to face Belhaven. Saturday’s tip is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.