By: Tanner Craft (LSUS Athletics)

SHREVEPORT, La (LSUS Athletics) – The LSUS Men’s Basketball team (11-6, 4-1) made it two wins in a row as they defeated No. 19 Xavier by a final score of 70-60. With the win, the Pilots improve to 11-6 on the season and 4-1 in Red River Athletic Conference play. The Gold rush fall to 11-4 on the season with the loss, and 2-3 in conference play. 

Both squads took some time to find their rhythm on the offensive side of the ball in the first half. It wasn’t until the 12-minute mark that we saw the Gold Rush reach double-figures and take a 10-8 lead over the Pilots. Xavier saw their biggest first half lead reach three with 12:41 remaining but the Pilots were able to settle in and close out the first half on a 23-10 run to take a 31-20 lead going into halftime.

The second half was a back-and-forth half between the Pilots and the Gold Rush. The Pilots shot 42 percent from the field in the second half but went 17-22 from the free throw line to hold off any potential comeback by the Gold Rush. Xavier was able to cut the Pilots lead to as low as five, but the Pilots were able to right the ship and win their fourth conference game of the season.

The Pilots were led offensively by Leondre Washington who finished with 20 points after going 11-16 from the free throw line. He also added one rebound, one assist, and one steal. Jeff Boyd finished with 15 points, five rebounds, one steal, and one block. Royce Hunter and Quentin Jones also finished in double-figures for the Pilots. Hunter finished with 12 points and Jones finished with ten.

The Pilots will be back in action on Tuesday, January 25th as they head to Alexandria for a matchup with in-state rival LSUA. The game will tip off at 7:30 p.m. CT from The Fort on the campus of LSUA.