- Ronald Oswalt
The LSUS Pilots pulled away from Ecclesia College in the second half for a 118-71 victory over the Royals. The Pilots imrove to 5-1 on the season and remain undefeated at The Dock with a 5-0 home record.
It was a sloppy start for LSUS out of the gates as turnovers and a lack of energy plagued the Pilots early in the contest. Ecclesia jumped out to a 10-point lead fueled by three-pointers from Drew Cone. From that point, the Pilots would methodically march their way back in front. They turned the full-cour defense up and started creating turnovers that led to easy transition points. The Pilots created 17 first half turnovers but turned it over 16 times themselves and only held a 10-point advantage going into the break. Tra Knight was the Pilots leading scorer at halftime with 17.
The second half was complete domination by the Pilots. Shreveport took care of the basketball, attacked the rim, and took better in-rhythm shots from three-point range. The Pilots outscored the Royals 66-29 in the final 20 minutes of play. LSUS forced 12 more turnovers in the second half with 33 of their 118 points coming off of the 29 total turnovers in the game. The Pilots shot it better from distance in the second half as well knocking down five of 13 from behind the arc.
The 118 points is the second highest point total on the season for the Pilots. They finished the game at 55% from the field and 30% from three. Andre Washington, tonight’s Player of the Game, helped the Pilots to 23 second chance points in the game. Washington finished with a 17-point, 14-rebound double-double while shooting eight of 12 with a season-high eight offensive boards. Tra Knight was the leading scorer for the Pilots with 29 in the game.
Next up for the Pilots is a Top 25 against #13 USAO as the Drovers come to town for a Monday morning game at 11 AM. The Pilots host the Drovers for their annual NAIA Champions of Character game.
THOUGHTS FROM HEAD COACH KYLE BLANKENSHIP
“It was a very sluggish start on our part and unfortunately it lasted for most of the first half. We did a much better job of making things tough on them in the second half and ultimately were able to run away with it.”
“We’ve got to play better basketball if we want to compete against some of the elite teams in the naia, and monday will be another great opportunity for our program against usao.”