Pilots squash #22 Gold Rush 10 game win streak with double digit victory
February 15, 2007
Shreveport, LA---The LSUS Pilots (20-6, 11-5) have been known for their high octane offense in the past, but it was a tenacious defensive effort that lifted them into sole possession of first place in the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Thursday night with a 65-54 victory over the No. 22 Xavier University Gold Rush (17-8, 10-5). XU entered Thursday night’s contest at The Dock sporting an impressive 10 game win streak which elevated them to No. 22 in this weeks NAIA national rankings. LSUS had posted a modest three game streak and currently sit at No. 35 in the latest polls.
The Pilots trailed by as many as six points and tied the score on five different occasions, but could never steal the lead from the Gold Rush in the first half. Chris Waffer connected on 1-of-2 free throw attempts with six seconds on the clock to send the two teams to the locker room tied at 24-24.
The Pilots started the second half with a modest 6-2 run accounting for their first lead of the night as they found themselves ahead 30-26 at the 17:32 mark. Freddy Hughes capitalized on a three point play the old fashion way to stretch the Pilots lead to 36-28 just 2:00 later.
XU erased the Pilots eight point lead over the next 7:00 and found themselves on top 44-43 after an Alfred Williams three pointer with 8:19 remaining forcing LSUS to call a timeout.
The Pilots erased any Gold Rush momentum after they broke the huddle as they went on a 15-1 run over the next six minutes which was capped by a pair of Hughes free throws with 1:56 remaining.
A Shaun Dumas three pointer on the ensuing possession cut the Pilots lead to 10 points, but that would be as close as Gold Rush would come on this night as the Pilots regained sole possession of first place in the GCAC for the first time this season with a 65-64 victory.
LSUS held the Gold Rush offense to 19-of-55 (35%) shooting from the floor while forcing 18 turnovers. Mark Stewart collected a team high 15 points on 5-of-13 shooting. Williams pitched in with 11 points and a game high five steals.
The Pilots overcame an 18-of-54 (33%) shooting performance from the floor by out rebounding XU by a 47-26 margin, which included a 21-10 advantage on the offensive end.
Hughes led the Pilots offense with a team high 18 points while collecting seven rebounds and handing out six assists. Kyile Byrd collected 15 points and six rebounds off the bench for the Pilots who struggled to find any offensive production early on as Jamon Morris and Blake Whittle, the Pilots two leading scorers, were held to a combined 11 points on 2-of-17 shooting.
The Pilots will return to action Saturday afternoon when they travel to Little Rock, AR to take on Philander Smith College in a non-conference match-up.