ALEXANDRIA, La (LSUS Athletics) – The Men’s Basketball team fell to the Gold Rush of Xavier (LA) 63-79 Sunday afternoon in the Red River Athletic Conference Championship game. With the loss the Pilots move to 24-7 in their overall season.

The Pilots struck early in the first half as they took the lead and refused to let go. The Gold Rush held on as tightly as they could, but the Pilots continued to roll as they reached a 10-point lead with 10 minutes remaining in the half, 20-10. The Gold Rush went on a seven-point run to close the gap, and as the buzzer sounded on halftime the Pilots led 34-30. The Pilots went 13-33 from the field while the Gold Rush went 14-29. The Pilots collected a singular basket beyond the arc while the Gold Rush sunk two, but the Pilots were 7-for-7 from the free throw line while the Gold Rush were 0-for-4.

The Gold Rush exited the locker room and immediately put points up on the board as they brought the game within on point 35-34. The Pilots went on an eight-point run to try and put the Gold Rush down once more, but it was to no avail. The Gold Rush went on a seven-point run of their own to catch up to the Pilots and tie the game 45-45. Halfway through the second half the Gold Rush snagged the lead 54-52 and held on till the final buzzer taking the Pilots down 79-63. The Pilots were outscored 29-49 in the second half as they went 8-for-25 from the field and 10-15 from the line where the Gold Rush 17-27 from the field and 13-16 from the courtesy stripe.

The Pilots had just two players in the double-digits on the afternoon. Jalen Brooks led the team with 19 points as he went 5-12 from the field and 9-10. Brook also had 11 rebounds for his 19th double-double and had two assists. Calvin Carpenter compiled 11 points on 4 baskets from the field, with two being back-to-back buckets from three-point land. Carpenter was also 1-2 at the line and had one rebound.

The Pilots will be back in action in the opening round of the NAIA National Championships. Date, Time, and Location to be announced later.