River Pilots steer past Lions, 84-75
SAGU outscored 12-4 in final five minutes
Conference season begin on Dec. 5 vs OKC Stars
Box Score and Play By Play (links below)
Next Coaches Top 25 Poll: December 10
SHREVEPORT, Louisiana -- An uncharacteristically cold finish by No. 5 Southwestern Assemblies of God University allowed No. 2 ranked LSU-Shreveport to hand the Lions their first loss of the season, 84-75, on Monday night.
SAGU (5-1) trailed 72-71 with 5:06 remaining when Caleb Feemster (Addison, Tx / Trinity Chr-Addison, Ranger College ) drained a three-pointer thanks to an assist from Caleb Gentry (Hondo, Tx / Hondo HS, Ok Wesleyan Univ ).
Over the next two minutes the Lions committed two defensive fouls, missed three shots, and turned the ball over. The Pilots (2-4) took advantage with three free throws and a three-ball to build a 78-71 lead with 2:43 remaining.
“We got down by 14 early in the second half,” Head Coach Donnie Bostwick recalled after the game. “Then we cut the lead to one with five minutes to go.”
What followed was a couple of missed shots and what Bostwick referred to as a “tough traveling call.”
“They pushed it (the lead) to nine in the last two minutes,” he explained.
There would no comeback on this night.
“It was a good game,” assessed the coach. “It was the normal challenges of winning on the road.”
A year ago his Lions won their first 14 games away from the Sheaffer Center before losing the season finale at, you guessed it, LSU-Shreveport.
“Our ‘bigs’ (big men) were in foul trouble tonight. We fought and we had a chance. Now we will get ready for OCU.”
Next Game a Biggie for Lions
The Lions next game is a week after Thanksgiving, on Thursday, December 5. Nationally ranked Oklahoma City University visits Waxahachie for the Lions first-ever league game as a member of the Sooner Athletic Conference.
Cardiac 'Cats Misfire in the Clutch
Known for their highly effective execution in the clutch, the Lions simply didn’t finish this time. A talented opponent had plenty of effect as well.
In the final five minutes, SAGU made 1-of-10 shots; missing all five beyond the arc.
The Lions had an 8-4 edge in late rebounds, including five off the offensive glass. They failed to score following any of them.
Also costly were three turnovers. It was a rare showing for the Purple & Gold.
Meanwhile, LSU-Shreveport sank four of six shots, one of them a triple, and made no turnovers.
The game saw the lead change hands eight times and was tied twice, all in the first half. The Lions led many times, the largest, however, was 6-2 and then 14-11.
It remained close until the Pilots went on a 14-5 run to stretch a five point lead to 56-42 with 13:52 remaining.
SAGU scored the next seven points to spur a 29-16 surge to draw to within one at the 5:06 mark.
In the span of 8:47 six players contributed balanced scoring.
Feemster led with seven, with Daniel Mills (Belton, Tx / Belton HS ), Andre Crear (Ft Worth, Tx / Trimble Tech HS, Angelina College ) and Drew Erskine (Houston, Tx / Victoria West HS, Centenary College ) each adding five, Gentry four and Tyler Guidry (Houston, Tx / Westbury Christian ) three.
In the end, an overdue Pilots squad finally pulled out a close game after several narrow setbacks.
Will Nelson led with 22 points, much of it from the foul line. Josh Walker came off the bench to pour in 18 points, including four trifectas. His previous high was six points.
Most statistical categories were as even as a row of corn.
In field goal percentage the Pilots shot 43% (28 of 65), the Lions 42% (26 of 62). From downtown the Lions were 37% (10 of 27), the Pilots 32% (8 of 25).
Rebounding went to LSU-Shreveport, a 42-39, including a 15-13 edge in offensive caroms.
They held an advantage in turnovers, making only eight, compared to SAGU’s twelve.
On the foul line the Pilots steered their way to swishing 20 of 27. The Lions netted just 13 of 19.
When the teams played at the Sheaffer Center two weeks ago, an 83-72 win for the Lions, SAGU converted 27 of 31 free throws to the Pilots' 20 of 29.
Feemster accounted for a game-high 23 points, making 8-of-15 attempts. It included four treys. He shared the team-lead with eight rebounds.
Erskine tossed in 16 with a trio of threes. Both Feemster and Erskine were credited with three assists.
Mills tallied 12 points and eight boards. He was limited to twenty-three minutes due to foul trouble.
The 6-foot-8 Remington Mitchell (Mansfield, Tx / Mansfield HS) collected three quick fouls and his playing time was curbed to less than seven minutes.
The pair was sorely missed.
Gentry, the team’s leading scorer this season, was held to eight points on 3-of-11 shooting. He still managed to distribute four assists and grab four rebounds.
Crear and Gentry entered the game as reserves; both totaling seven points each.
Play-By-Play: To view the game's play-by-play, click on the blue box in the right corner.
Note: The LSUS LiveStats service was set-up prior to the game, but technical issues prevented its operation.