Pilots Win Fourth Straight GCAC Tournament, Clinch National Tournament Birth
March 10, 2009
Shreveport, La. – The LSUS Pilots will make their fifth consecutive trip out to the National Tournament in Kansas City after winning their fourth straight GCAC Tournament title on Tuesday night, defeating Spring Hill College 67-58 at The Dock.
Before a capacity crowd, the Pilots rallied from an early six-point deficit when they found themselves down 13-7 after a Nick Brown field goal. LSUS responded with a brief 9-0 run on back-to-back three’s by Chris Gatlin and one by Tyrone Hamilton.
The Pilots would trail only one more time in the contest (25-23) with 9 minutes remaining in the first half, as they ended the half on a 19-8 run and never looked back.
LSUS stretched their lead out to 12 points on a Hamilton three to begin the second half, but an 8-0 Badger run made things interesting again. But once again, the Pilots responded in a big way, pushing their lead back to 12 after an 11-3 run gave them a 56-45 advantage with 8:13 left in the contest.
With the Pilots clinging to a nine-point lead late, the Badgers made one last attempt to comeback. A three-pointer from the left wing by Antonio Burch cut the Pilots lead down to six, and then after two missed free throws, Spring Hill’s Nick Brown connected on a pair at the line to bring the Badgers within four.
However, Gatlin came through again for the home team, nailing his fourth and final three pointer of the game at the 1:12 mark to push the Pilots back up seven. The Pilots defense then stepped up to make three consecutive stops, as the Badgers failed to score in the final 1:30 of the game.
Gatlin led the Pilots with a game-high 20 points, while Hamilton added 13.
Derrick Parker and Mike Pilgrim provided the Pilots with a powerful one-two punch in the post, as both players recorded a double-double. Parker scored 13 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, while Pilgrim finished the night with 12 points and 11 boards.
Nick Brown had a huge game for Spring Hill, scoring 17 points and pulling down a game-high 18 rebounds in the losing effort.
With the win, LSUS moves to 22-11 on the season and will head to the National Tournament in Kansas City on Sunday afternoon. The tournament is scheduled to begin on Wednesday, March 18, and the brackets will be release sometime tomorrow afternoon.