Pilots post convincing 82-59 victory over Blazers
February 09, 2007
Jackson, MS---The LSUS Pilots (17-6, 8-5) entered Thursday night’s contest with a game plan to shut down the NAIA’s leading scorer Bobby Johnson of the Belhaven College Blazers (12-12, 5-8), and they executed it to perfection. The Pilots held Johnson to five second half points and cruised to an 82-59 road victory at Rugg Arena.
The Blazers looked sharp early in the first half and built a 20-12 lead at the 10:55 mark after Johnson finished a three point play from the free throw line. LSUS cut the lead to 20-17 after a pair of Travis Cash free throws, but a three point basket by Jeff Sullivan pushed the BC lead to 23-17.
The momentum swing after Sullivan’s basket quickly switched in favor of the Pilots who held the Blazers scoreless over the next 7:05, and found themselves ahead 33-23 after a 16-0 run.
Johnson collected two of his nine first half points to stop the BC scoring drought with 1:35 remaining in the half.
The Pilots stretched their lead to 11 points after a Cash three point shot fell with 45 seconds remaining, but Sullivan responded with a three of his own with 24 seconds remaining to cut the Pilots lead to 38-30 at the break.
The second half began with a 10-0 Pilots run which was capped by a Cash three point play putting the Pilots ahead 48-30.
Dax Miller connected on his lone field goal of the contest with 15:03 remaining to cut the lead to 48-32, and that was as close as the Blazers would come on this night.
A pair of Blake Whittle free throws stretched the Pilots lead to 26 points with 7:00 remaining, marking the Pilots largest lead of the night. LSUS coasted through the final minutes en route to their third win in their last four contests to remain in a second place tie in the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference standings, and just half a game behind the conference leading Xavier University Gold Rush.
The Blazers won the turnover battle by a 14-10 margin, but were over matched on the boards on both ends of the floor as the Pilots outrebounded BC 60-34. Johnson led the Blazers offense with 14 points on 6-of-15 shooting. Sullivan, McNutt, and Larell Bailey each finished with 10 points a piece.
Whittle led all scorers with 25 points and finished with 13 rebounds marking his 6th double-double of the season. Jamon Morris collected his GCAC leading 13th double-double of the season after finishing with 15 points and a game high 16 rebounds. Cash added 14 points while teammates Greg Tyer and Freddy Hughes each flirted with double-doubles of their own; Tyer finished 10 points and nine rebounds while Hughes added 11 points and seven boards.