Pilots take down Texas Wesleyan
January 28, 2012FORT WORTH, Tex. - The LSU Shreveport Pilots went into the Sid Richardson Center on Saturday afternoon to payback the no. 11 Texas Wesleyan Rams, who won the first meeting of the season at The Dock in triple overtime, and did just that. The Pilots left as the winners 61-57.
"We are super proud of and proud for our Pilots. Great determination, effort, and composure was the formula for a successful afternoon for our Pilots," said LSUS head coach Chad McDowell.
The Pilots are one of the hottest teams in the Red River Athletic Conference as they have now won 10 of their last 11 games including five in a row. Only Our Lady of the Lake is ahead of them now in the standings as the Pilots are now in the second spot in the regular season standings holding the tie breaker over Texas Wesleyan for second should it come down to the tie breaker.
The Pilots lead grew to as much as 13 points in the second half only to be dwindled down bit by bit by the hometown Rams. Texas Wesleyan managed to get as close as a point to the Pilots but strong defense by the Pilots forced the Rams to miss shots and make mistakes when the stakes were at the highest.
Derrick Parker made the front end of double bonus free-throws to put LSUS up by two with 37 seconds to play. The Rams would miss fire on a three-pointer and a layup as possession remained with the home team, Ronnie Moss dribbled to the far corner with the Pilots' Greg Shyne in his face obstructing his view and forcing him to throw the ball out of bounds for the turnover. The inbound pass found Shyne who was fouled and made both from the charity stripe to seal the deal with 2.2 seconds to play.
"I am especially proud for our seniors who will remember their last visit to Texas Wesleyan as a victorious night," said McDowell as the seniors made up four of the five starting positions on Saturday. Parker led the way with his 14th double-double of the season with the game-highs of 20 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks while Shyne added nine points. Aubin Young added eight points, three assists and pulled down nine key rebounds while Cody Walker finished with five points, three rebounds and three assists.
Junior, Isiah Bazile was the other starter and the only other Pilot in double figures other than Parker as the point guard netted 11 points and led the team with four assists. Mark Politte added six points while Rydell Harris was a key rebounder with six boards and two points.
The Rams had four scorers finish with double figures: Eric Frederick (17), Ronnie Moss (13), Oscar Griffin (13), and Stephane Mudiay (10). The Pilots defense did a tremendous job containing two of the top scorers in the NAIA in Frederick and Moss. Frederick coming into the contest averaged 25.9 points per game while Moss was the no. 3 three-point shooter in the country averaging 3.4 three's made per game and 23.8 points per game. Moss did manage three from downtown but not much after that. Seven of Moss' 13 points came on a run late in the first half as the Pilots double-teamed him in the second half only allowing him just six points as well as Frederick only scoring six points in the second half.
The Rams went on an 8-0 run over a span of six minutes in the first half as the Pilots went without a bucket since Isiah Bazile nailed a jumper with 16:02 left to give the Pilots' their largest lead of the half 11-3. Bazile got the Pilots back in the scoring column with another two-point jumper with 8:41 to play to regain the LSUS' lead to 13-11. But the Pilots maintained their lead to have a three-point advantage at the half, 31-28.
McDowell was extremely please on how the day went for the LSUS basketball program, "What a great trip all the way around. How can you beat a trip like this? Our Lady Pilots make an incredible comeback and earned a huge victory in overtime. Next, our Pilots gave a valiant effort and earned a huge road victory."
The win was a good for Coach McDowell but another thing helped make this road trip one of the better ones of his career, "The best thing about the trip is that my son Martin made his first road trip with the team. He turns nine on Tuesday and his mom thought it would be a great present to let him bring a friend (Blaine Funderburk) and be part of the team!"
This win will definitely stick in the back of the mind of the soon-to-be nine year old as he was near the end of the Pilot's bench for the entire game cheering when things went right and showing his disgust when things did not go so well. He also helped the LSUS Athletic Trainer, Lance Champange, hand out towels throughout the contest.
Coach McDowell stated that Martin was not the only one of the McDowell family who was excited when the final buzzer sounded, "It got better after the game; getting a text message from my wife, Jenn, stating that her and our oldest daughter, Molly, were screaming so loud throughout the game, the neighbors could hear them."
The next game for the Pilots will be one of the final three home games remaining. Monday night at The Dock the Pilots will take on the RRAC leading and no. 7 Our Lady of the Lake Saints at 7:30 p.m.