Pilots return to winning ways with 85-78 win over Rams (By Pesky Hill)
November 18, 2005
Shreveport, LA--- Two of the nation’s best NAIA basketball teams squared off at The Dock Thursday night—and this time it was LSUS’ turn to prevail.
The 10th-ranked Pilots, who lost a barn burner to Texas Wesleyan 109-100 here last year, got long range shooting from Frederico Payne and Josh Porter to hold off the No. 15 Rams 85-78.
“That is a good basketball team,” LSUS Coach Chad McDowell said. “They (TWC) are well coached. But we came out on fire.”
In fact, LSUS raced to leads of 28-12 and 30-14 midway of the first half thanks to three-pointers by Payne and Porter. Shadrach Roome, a 6-8 forward, had a couple of offensive rebound putbacks to give the Pilots their biggest leads of the game.
But the Fort Worth based Rams fought back on the shooting of Ben Hunt, who finished with a game high 20, as TWC cut the deficit to 42-37 by intermission.
“We play one of the toughest NAIA schedules in the country and LSUS is by far the best team we have played,” TWC Coach Terry Waldrop admitted.
The loss dropped the Rams to 2-3 while LSUS improved to 3-0.
Payne, a 5-10 All-American for the Pilots last year, poured in 33 points. His biggest contribution may have come at the free throw line as he was perfect on all eight attempts down the stretch. He scored the Pilots last nine points of the game, including a three-pointer to go with six charity tosses.
Porter, who transferred from Stephen F. Austin and prepped at Southwood, gave Payne plenty of scoring support with 20 points
“This game was very important to us,” McDowell added, “because we were coming off the exhibition losses. We needed to get back in the groove tonight and we did.”
LSUS was coming off three exhibition losses to McNeese State, Arkansas and LSU. The Pilots outrebounded the Rams 51-43 thanks to the 10 boards by Derrick Sowell and nine by Roome. Roome also had 12 points while Anton Palmer added 14.
TWC got 16 points apiece from Kharyi McKinney and C. J. Higginbotham to support Hunt.
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