Story By Eric Montgomery | Media Coordinator
Photos courtesy of Referee Photo
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – (Box Score) A 15-0 run late in the second half lifted the top seed in the Liston Bracket, LSU Shreveport (La.) over No. 8 Harris-Stowe State (Mo.) by a 72-63 count at the 81st Annual NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball National Championship, Wednesday evening at Municipal Auditorium. The Pilots will face the winner between No. 4 Westmont (Calif.) and No. 5 Dillard (La.) on Friday, March 16 at 10:45 a.m. CDT.
- LSU Shreveport moved its season record to 28-4
- Harris-Stowe State wraps up its season with a record of 23-11
- The Pilots are 11-2 in their last 13 games this year
- Stevie Clark, who now has scored at least 10 points in 23-straight games, went for a game-high 23 points on 5-of-11 three-pointers for LSU Shreveport.
- D.J. Clayton chipped in with 17 points and a game-best 12 rebounds for the Pilots. Jamal Ray had the team’s second double-double with 11 points and 11 boards.
- Nate Rigmaiden came off the bench for Harris-Stowe State to post 18 points on 7-of-13 shooting.
- Deandre Clark contributed 13 points in over 37 minutes of action.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Trailing 54-49 at the 10:17 mark of the second half, LSU Shreveport’s Jamal Ray sparked a 15-0 run which was the game-changer. The Pilots held Harris-Stowe State scoreless for nearly six minutes during that stretch.
- Harris-Stowe State fell behind 24-9 with just 10 minutes elapsed in the game. But, the Hornets went on a 22-11 run to come within striking distance at the half. LSU Shreveport led 36-31 at the break.
- LSU Shreveport won despite shooting 30.8 percent (20-of-65), but forced 17 Hornet turnovers.
HOW THEY SAW IT
- LSU Shreveport head coach Kyle Blankenship – “We are very excited to advance to the next round and continue our season. I’ve really enjoyed coaching this group, but even more, I just love watching them compete. We haven’t won out here in several years, so it feels really good to be moving on to the next round. We knew coming in that Harris-Stowe State would be a tough match up for us. They really get after you defensively and they guarded us better than anyone has all season. However, our guys made big plays when we needed them the most and I’m really proud of them!”
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
- Harris-Stowe State used a strong bench to stay within striking distance – finishing with 28 points compared to two points by the Pilots.
- LSU Shreveport took advantage of the charity stripe, out-scoring the Hornets 25-11.
LSU Shreveport appeared in its 14th consecutive National Tournament after winning the Red River Athletic Conference Regular Season title…Coming into today, the Pilots had lost their previous four first round matchups… The team reached the semifinals in 2013, which was also head coach Blankenship’s first season on campus…The 2013 year also marked the Pilots’ highest finish at the tournament at third…The Pilots also bolster a 7-2 record against teams that were selected for the tournament…The Pilots began the season on a nine-game winning streak…To close out the year, LSU-Shreveport won 10 out of the last 12…The Pilots responded in tonight’s game with a 15-0 run, after trailing by five, to lead 64-54…
The Hornets are making their second appearance in the NAIA Division I Men's Basketball National Championship in as many years, the only appearances in the school's history...Harris-Stowe lost in the opening round to Dalton State (Ga.), 84-82, in 2017...The Hornets are one of three American Midwest Conference teams in the tournament...Harris-Stowe received an automatic berth to the national tournament, having won the American Midwest Conference Tournament with a 95-71 victory over Williams Baptist (Ark.)...Harris-Stowe is 2-4 against national tournament qualifiers...Prior to the game against LSU-Shreveport, the Hornets had won six straight games, seven of their last eight and 11 of their previous 13...