LSUS men, women dominate conference tourney semifinals

ON TARGET: LSUS senior guard Jeff Boyd led the Pilots with 24 points in a semifinal win over LSUA.

JOURNAL STAFF

LSU-Shreveport left little doubt how its Red River Athletic Conference Tournament semifinal men’s basketball game with arch-rival LSU-Alexandria would play out in a 114-64 rout Monday at Rapides Coliseum in Alexandria.

The Pilots shot a blistering 63 percent the first half to erase an early nine-point deficit, mounting a 28-3 run to turn things around and take a 50-29 lead at halftime.

LSUS continued its hot shooting in the second half hitting on 13-of-17 i (71 percent), finishing the night hitting on 45-of-67 for 67 percent for the game. They were a whopping 20-of-29 from beyond the arc (69 percent).

LSUS improved its record to 22-7 and will face Louisiana Christian (15-13), who defeated Xavier 60-59 in the other semifinal. LSUS has swept the season series with LC, which is coached by former Captain Shreve star Reni Mason.

Today’s 5:30 contest will be the Pilots’ fourth straight appearance in the tournament finals.

Jeff Boyd led six Pilots in double figures with 24 points, while Akeem White had a double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Leondre Washington and Kelvin Henry both scored 18 points, with Henry hitting all seven of his shots from the field, four behind the arc. Quentin Jones scored 17 and Kevin Norman 16.

The Pilots also dominated on the boards, outrebounding the Generals 48-22.

LSUA (20-6) was led by Jakemin Abney’s 14 points, A.J. Rainey and Kalen Perkins both scored 12.

WOMEN

The LSUS women punched their ticket to the championship game of the RRAC Tournament for the sixth straight year with a resounding 70-45 defeat of Xavier.

Like the men, the Lady Pilots took a while to get going but once they did it was all over. The top-seeded Gold Nuggets led by as many as eight points in the first quarter and led 15-12 heading to the second.

LSUS upped its shooting aim to 60 percent in the second quarter and held Xavier to 8 percent in outscoring them 29-5. LSUS finished the half on a 24-3 run to lead 41-20 at the break and were never headed off in the last two quarters.

The third quarter was much the same as LSUS shot over 60 percent and held the Gold Nuggets to 22 percent, carrying a 59-37 lead into the final quarter.

DeAuja Thomas came off the bench to lead the Pilots with 19 points, hitting on 7-of-15 from the field and hauling in 13 rebounds. Angel Reese scored 14 points and Kiara Collins 13 to round out the double figure scorers for LSUS, now 17-12 for the season.

Destinee Pointer led Xavier (21-6) with 10 points.

LSUS will face Our Lady of the Lake (19-10) in the championship game at 3 p.m. today. The teams met four straight times in the tournament final from 2017-20, with the Lady Pilots winning three of those. But in the only meeting this season, in San Antonio, the Saints posted a 70-54 victory. They are unbeaten in RRAC play.