Eric Frederick (1), senior forward, plans to charge into the paint for a two-point shot during the March 3 game against Louisiana State University Shreveport Pilots at the conference tournament. Stephanie Randall | Rambler Staff

The Texas Wesleyan men’s basketball team fell short in an 84-77 loss to the Louisiana State University Pilots this past weekend in the conference tournament in Waxahachie, Texas.

The Rams are currently ranked twentieth in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, with a record of 25-7 overall and 19-5 in the Red River Athletic Conference.

At the early minutes of the game,  the Rams and the Pilots were going head-to-head for points.

The game continued to stay close until a 12-point run by the Pilots put the Rams down half way through the first half. Three point shots by Stephane Mudiay, senior forward, and Oscar Griffin, junior guard, kept the Rams within reach of the Pilots at the end of the first half.

Mudiay said he thought the team played really well the last 10 minutes of the game.

“We picked up our intensity  and had a few runs, but missed free-throws really hurt us. We just came up short,” Mudiay said.
As the second half opened, the Pilots continued their momentum, and started the biggest lead of the game at 65-48 half way through the second half.

The Rams stepped up on offense and defense and cut the lead within six, with a three-point shot from sophomore guard Jazz Holman.

Holman said the game was a hard fought game.

“We fought for it but came up a little short. Now all we have to do is wait and see if they make it to Kansas City. It all depends on the brackets,” Holman said.

With minutes left in the game, Griffin knocked down another three-point shot, putting the Rams within three points of the Pilots.
Mudiay added to Griffin with a couple of free throws keeping the Rams within three with 43 seconds remaining.

A missed three-point shot by the Rams forced them to foul with 11 seconds remaining. The Pilots hit both free throws and ended the game on top 84-77.

Brian Talley said that it was a tough loss for the team.

“There was probably some things we could have done better as far as defensively,” Talley said.

Griffin led the team with 27 points.  Eric Frederick contributed 25 points and 13 rebounds.  Mudiay finished adding 12 points to the game.

The Rams will now wait to see if they receive an at-large bid to make it to the 75th annual NAIA National Tournament in Kansas City, Mo.

Stephanie Randall;