Story By Andy Pulverenti | Staff Writer
Photos courtesy of Referee Photo
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – (Box Score) No. 1-seeded LSU Shreveport (La.) earned a 70-67 victory over No. 5-seeded Dillard (La.), in a second round contest at the 2018 NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball National Championship, Friday morning inside Municipal Auditorium in downtown Kansas City, Mo. The Pilots advance to the quarterfinal round, and will play the winner of Life (Ga.) and Wayland Baptist (Texas), Saturday at 2 p.m. CDT.
- LSU Shreveport (La.) improves to 29-4 on the season, and moves into the quarterfinal round for the first time since the 2013 national championship and third time overall.
- Dillard (La.) drops to 21-10 to end its season, and falls in the second round for the third-straight year and fourth-consecutive appearance overall.
- So far this year, 16 of the first 18 games have been decided by 10 points or less, including nine by six points or less and six by three points or less.
- Higher seeds are 9-9 thus far in the tournament, but two No. 1 seeds, three No. 2 seeds and the defending national champion are already out.
- The game featured 11 lead changes and seven ties
- LSU Shreveport Guard Stevie Clark led all scorers with 27 points, including the game-winning three-pointer with 1.2 seconds to play. He also added eight rebounds and seven assists.
- LSU Shreveport Guard D.J. Clayton finished 8 of 11 from the floor, scoring 17 points.
- Dillard Forward Joshua Simmons recorded double-double No. 14 on the season with 16 points and 14 rebounds.
- Dillard Guard Jorori Coleman scored 15 points, and topped the 500-point mark on his season, scoring 508 points.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Dillard took an early lead, using four points from Quinton Jackson to hold a 6-2 advantage with three minutes played.
- LSU Shreveport followed with a run over the next three minutes, outscoring Dillard by a 14-2 margin, using five points from D.J. Clayton, to build up a 16-8 advantage.
- LSU Shreveport maintained at least a four-point lead through much of the remaining time in the first half, but Dillard finished the half on a 9-3 run in the final four minutes, and used a three-point field goal from Joshua Simmons to trim the LSU Shreveport lead to 33-31 at halftime.
- Dillard took its first lead of the game since early in the first half when Jorori Coleman sank a three-pointer to make the score 36-35 with 18:34 remaining in the game.
- The two teams traded the lead a total of seven times over the next nine minutes, with a D.J. Clayton field goal putting LSU Shreveport in front, 55-54, with 8:33 to play.
- Dillard held its final lead of the contest at the 5:17 mark when a fast-break field goal from Kristopher Allmon gave the Bleu Devils a 60-59 advantage.
- Dillard tied the game at 67-67 with 17-seconds left on the clock, but Stevie Clark hit a three-point field goal with 1.2 seconds remaining to give LSU Shreveport a 70-67 win.
HOW THEY SAW IT
- Dillard Head Coach Mike Newell: “It was a very well-played game. This is what March madness is all about. The transfer from Oklahoma State had 27 points and Quinton (Jackson) was right on him. He was as close as he could get. The kid just made a tough shot, but we had our opportunities. The difference in the game was free throws.
- LSU Shreveport Head Coach Kyle Blankenship: “What a game! We’ve been on the wrong end of a last second shot out here before, but it sure felt good to see the game winner go down for us this afternoon. Dillard is as talented and well coached as anyone in this tournament. We expected a war and that’s what it was today. I’m so proud of our guys for the toughness they showed for 40 minutes, and we are excited for our season to continue tomorrow.”
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
- LSU Shreveport was 1 of 18 from three-point range before Stevie Clark sank the game-winning three-pointer.
- LSU Shreveport Guard Josh Robinson finished with a season-high 13 rebounds.
- Dillard had four players play all 40 minutes, while Jorori Coleman and Kristopher Allmon played all 80 minutes in the team’s two games at the national championship.
- Quinton Jackson entered the game ranked fifth in the NAIA in assists per game (5.6) and finished with seven assists.
The Pilots are making its 14th appearance overall in the NAIA Division I Men's Basketball National Championship, and 14th straight...LSU Shreveport lost in the first round of the 2017 national tournament to Montana Western, 99-94…The Pilots now advance to the quarterfinals of the tournament for the first time since 2013, when they defeated Evangel, 77-70… Overall, the Pilots are 1-1 all-time in the Quarterfinal round… The Pilots are now 9-13 all-time in national tournament games… LSU Shreveport is now 3-3 all-time in the second round of the national tournament…The Pilots are one of four teams from the Red River Athletic conference to qualify for this year’s tournament… Prior to Stevie Clark’s three to take the lead with 1.2 seconds remaining in regulation, the Pilots were 1-of-18 from behind the arc… Clark scored 27 points on 10-of-24 from the field… Collectively the Pilots shot 10-of 12 from the free-throw line…Forced 10 turnovers on seven steals…Eleven lead changes and seven ties…
The Bleu Devils are making their ninth appearance in the NAIA Division I Men's Basketball National Championship, including the last three-straight years...Dillard has never gotten to the quarterfinals, though the Bleu Devils have advanced to the second round in each of their last four national tournament appearances...The Bleu Devils are now 5-8 all-time in the national tournament...The Bleu Devils are 0-5 all-time in the second round of the tournament...Dillard is one of two Gulf Coast Athletic Conference teams in this year's tournament...The Bleu Devils are now 7-4 against national tournament teams this season... Coming into the game against LSU Shreveport, Dillard had won five straight games and 12 of its past 13 contests...The Gulf Coast Athletic Conference is now 1-2 in the national tournament...