DSU basketball teams win in GSC opener
by Andy Collier
Dec 15, 2013 | 821 views | 0 0 comments | 32 32 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Delta State University Statesmen and Lady Statesmen made it a clean sweep against the Christian Brothers Buccaneers and Lady Buccaneers to open Gulf South Conference basketball action for both schools Saturday in Memphis, Tenn.

The Lady Statesmen won the women’s game 61-53, while the Statesmen defeated the Buccaneers 65-63 in a thriller in men's action. The Lady Statesmen are 6-1 with a 1-0 mark in the GSC, while the Statesmen are 8-1 with a 1-0 mark in the conference. Both CBU teams fell to 4-3 with 0-1 GSC mark.

In the women’s game, the Lady Statesmen had a tough time with the Lady Buccaneers early on as they trailed 26-19 with 3:54 left in the first half. Delta State buckled down and got back on track. With 3:13 left in the half, Becca Ruckes made a jumper and got fouled and as she went to threw free throw line. Ruckes made her foul shot, and DSU cut the deficit down to 26-22. Ruckes also made two lay-ups with Rhandi Ball and Chadisty Hickman getting assists to tie the game at 26-26.

Delta State ended up going into the lockerroom with plenty of momentum. Chelsey Rhodes nailed a 3-pointer, and Myiesha Stewart hit a jumper to put the Lady Statesmen up 31-26 at halftime.

In the second half, the Lady Bucs were able to trim DSU’s lead down to one point at 48-47 with 6:36 left to play, but the Lady Statesmen roared back in the contest with Rhodes leading the way. Delta State marched on a 9-1 run with Rhodes scoring seven of those points to put DSU on top 57-48 with 3:46 remaining. The late run put the game out of reach for CBU as DSU opened conference with a win.

Rhodes finished with a game-high 22 points as she went 7-of-15 from the floor, which included a 3-of-6 performance from 3-point land. She also went 5-of-5 from the free throw line and finished with four rebounds and two assists to lead DSU. Randi Ball scored 11 points and pulled down nine rebounds to aid DSU, followed by Seneca Walton with 10 points and Ruckes with seven points.

In the men’s game, the Statesmen had to overcome an early 12-point deficit in the first half and trailed 34-29 at halftime. In the second half, Jack Madgen hit a three-point to cut CBU’s lead down to 34-32. CBU was able to get the lead back up to four points twice, but Willie Readus and Madgen hit lay-ups each time to keep the game at 38-36 in favor of CBU.

DSU’s Devin Schmidt hit a jump shot to tie the game at 38-38 and then Madgen hit another lay-up to put DSU ahead 40-38 with 16 minutes on the clock. CBU battled and took a 41-40 lead, but the momentum was in favor of DSU as the Statesmen were able to find a groove and get a lead as big as eight points at one point in the contest. The Buccaneers tried to battle back but the Statesmen held on for the win.

Schmidt led the Statesmen with 24 points, nine rebounds and five assists, followed by Readus with 18 points and 11 rebounds, Madgen with 10 points, seven rebounds and four blocks and Michael Weems with nine points including a 3-of-3 performance from 3-point land.

Both DSU teams will return to the court on Thursday in Gulf South Conference as they travel to Livingston, Ala. to take on West Alabama. The women’s game will start at 5:30 p.m., while the men’s game is set for 7:30 p.m.