Pilots Suffer First Loss
January 23, 2008
No. 3 LSUS has survived a series of close calls this season, emerging each time with its undefeated record intact and ascending the NAIA Top-25. Their latest challenge came on Wednesday in a meeting of Top-25 teams.
It took more than 40 minutes of basketball for the LSUS men's basketball team to lose their first game on the season, as No. 18 Xavier upset the Pilots, 75-72, in overtime to hand them their first loss of the season.
The Pilots (17-1, 6-1) had a shot at the win in regulation. Clarke Jackson drew a charging call with 5.9 seconds remaining when Kelechi Okoroha barreled into him on his way to the basket.
The change in possession set up the Pilots for a final shot, but Jared Stevenson's layup at the buzzer hit the side of the rim.
LSUS was in for a long night within the game's first two minutes when two of its best players, Josh Porter and Jamon Morris, each picked up two fouls. The pair didn't return until the second half.
With Porter and Morris on the bench, McDowell looked elsewhere for someone to answer the challenge. Travis Cash responded by scoring a game-high 27 points, 14 coming by halftime, and grabbing 10 rebounds.
It didn't help that the Pilots also shot miserably from the floor in the first half. They had just four field goals by the midway point of the first half.
Still, LSUS trailed 36-32 at halftime with Porter and Morris taking the floor in the second half. But, Porter struggled from the perimeter in the second half, never getting into a rhythm.
He finished with seven points on 3-of-13 shooting. Morris, the NAIA leader in double-doubles, added 13 points and seven rebounds.
Alfred Williams led Xavier with 23 points, Kelechi Okoroha added 20 points and 12 rebounds and Mark Stewart scored 18.
The Pilots will look to begin another winning streak on Saturday afternoon when they face William Carey University at The Dock. Tip-off is scheduled for 4:00 PM.
(Story Courtesy of Brian Vernellis and the Shreveport Times)