The Delta State University Statesmen and Lady Statesmen both had great nights against Christian Brothers University Wednesday night in Gulf South Conference action at Memphis, Tenn.
The Statesmen clinched a spot in the GSC Tournament by defeating the Buccaneers 55-53 in the men’s game, while the Lady Statesmen defeated the Lady Buccaneers 59-57 to move into a one game lead for eighth in the GSC.
The Statesmen (12-14, 10-8 GSC) are currently tied for fourth with Christian Brothers. The top four teams will get to host their first round GSC Tournament game on Feb. 27.
“Our team has grown up a lot,” Statesmen head coach Jim Boone said. “We went through some tough times, and I think we learned our lessons. Going through adversity has helped us down the stretch.”
The Lady Statesmen (11-13, 9-9 GSC) have two games left in the regular season all at home. DSU’s next game will be against Lee University on Saturday. DSU can clinch a spot in the tournament with a win or a CBU loss. The Lady Statesmen have won five or their last seven games.
“I think the biggest thing is we’re starting to grow up as a team,” Lady Statesmen head coach Craig Roden said. “We’re 5-2 in the last seven and one of those was at West Alabama where we played real well but just couldn’t finish the deal in the last 52 seconds. I think other than that, I think they’re getting the feel of the league and everybody is kind of getting at ease with their rotations and stuff like that.”
In the men’s game, former East Side standout and senior forward PJ Davis had a monster night as he scored 31 points with eight rebounds. The 31-point effort was the second time he’s eclipsed 30 points this season and the 21st time he’s scored in double figures.
“PJ has been the epitome of consistency,” Boone said. “He’s developed in a leader on and off the court.”
Davis has scored 1,274 points which puts him 10th all-time in school history on the career scoring list. His performance catapulted him above Gerald Glass (1,249 points) on the all-time list. He needs just five to pass Don Cooper for the ninth place spot. Davis is also the school’s all-time leader in blocked shots (192) and is tied for seventh with Devin Schmidt and Norris Ashley on the school’s all-time list in rebounds for a career (713). Matthew Wilson aided DSU with 10 points.
In the women’s game, DSU turned the ball over just six times and had nine assists. Christian Brothers turned the over 15 times with 15 assists. DSU shot 40.7 percent (22-of-54) from the floor, while CBU shot 46.7 percent (21-of-45).
Takisha Jordan scored 23 points with seven rebounds, three assists and two steals to pace DSU, followed by Alondrea Rush with 16 points and three assists.
The Lady Statesmen will play Lee in Cleveland at 2 p.m. on Saturday in the women’s game, followed by the DSU-Lee men’s game at 4 p.m.