L-C discovers rhythm late in laugher
By MATT BANEY
Copyright The Trib
OF THE TRIBUNE
Although they entered Saturday's game with a
solid record and the NAIA's 27th ranking,
the Lewis-Clark State men had fought for
every inch they'd gained this season. Hardly
anything had come with ease.
But in the second half of their 19th
outing, the Warriors glided into a dreamy
groove. Their defense was stingy, their
offense oozed points and they registered a
74-41 shellacking of No. 24 Montana
State-Northern at the Activity Center.
Was this Frontier Conference victory a
turning point for LCSC? That remains to be
seen. But at least in this game the Warriors
didn't look like a team with a first-year
head coach and just four returning players.
"I think this group is coming together a
little bit, especially on the defensive
end," said Tim Walker, who replaced longtime
L-C coach George Pfeifer last spring. "And I
hope tonight was kind of a springboard for
After a typical first half -- L-C led
27-15 at the break despite going nine
minutes without a point -- the Warriors came
out of the locker room smoking. They buried
20 of 31 floor shots (64.5 percent) and
outscored the Lights 47-26.
And these weren't cheap baskets; most of
LCSC's points came in its offensive sets.
Here were some of the highlights:
Junior guard Keith Scarbrough got the
Warriors rolling, converting a three-point
play and a 3-pointer early in the half. His
one-handed runner a few moments later put
L-C up 41-22.
Jared Tikker dropped three consecutive
baskets, all of which came off feeds from
Jonathan Burnett. The most spectacular setup
was Burnett's 25-foot bounce pass to Tikker,
who had slipped open under the hoop.
Tikker then potted a baseline jumper to
make it a 38-point margin with five minutes
With about two minutes left, Scarbrough
heaved an ally-oop pass toward a flying
Charles Brooks. The toss was a bit too high,
but Brooks still managed to feather in a
layup while being fouled.
All 10 Warriors who played ended up
scoring, and nine of them tallied in the
eventful second half.
"We've had kind of tough second halves
coming out for the locker room," said Tikker,
a 6-foot-6 junior. "We finally all came out
and played hard that first five minutes, and
it was just downhill from there. (The
Lights) kind of gave up."
Defense is what most pleased Walker. The
Warriors (15-4, 3-2) limited MSUN to
25.5-percent shooting, including a 2-for-14
mark from 3-point range.
"I think with this team, everything is
going to start on the defensive end," he
said. "Let that create our offense. If we're
playing defense like that, we can weather
some stretches where we don't score the ball
Chris Pitts led LCSC with 15 points and
seven boards while Eric Durrett and Tikker
added 11 apiece.
Next week, the Warriors will return to
Montana for two league contests. Their first
trip through Big Sky country resulted in a
pair of losses.
"That was those guys' first trip to
Montana, so they know what to expect,"
Tikker said of the program's newcomers.
"It'll be a little better."
NOTES -- This was Walker's first game as
LCSC's boss against the team he used to
coach. During his time at the Havre school
-- from 1997-2001 -- the Lights went 72-55.
MONTANA STATE-NORTHERN (14-8, 3-3)
Wilson 1-4 0-0 2, Ducreay 2-4 0-1 4,
Matthews 3-10 6-7 12, Brothers 1-9 0-0 2,
Erickson 1-2 2-2 4, Hittner 1-4 0-0 3,
Bullchild 0-3 0-0 0, Stovall 2-6 0-0 4,
Gillespie 1-2 4-4 7, Simpson 0-3 0-0 0,
Nelson 0-0 0-0 0, Yatera 0-0 3-4 3. Totals
12-47 15-18 41.
LEWIS-CLARK STATE (15-4, 3-2)
Pitts 4-5 7-8 15, Durrett 5-9 0-0 11,
Scarbrough 4-7 1-1 10, Burnett 3-9 0-0 7,
Bishop 2-3 1-2 6, Brooks 2-7 0-3 4, Orr 1-1
0-0 3, Thompson 1-3 0-0 2, Ward 2-4 0-0 5,
Tikker 5-6 1-1 11. Totals 29-54 10-15 74.
Halftime score -- LCSC 27, MSUN 15.
Three-point goals -- MSUN 2-14 (Matthews
0-3, Brothers 0-4, Hittner 1-1, Bullchild
0-3, Stovall 0-1, Gillespie 1-2); LCSC 6-15
(Durrett 1-2, Scarbrough 1-4, Burnett 1-3,
Bishop 1-1, Brooks 0-3, Orr 1-1, Ward 1-1).
Rebounds -- MSUN 27 (Stovall 6); LCSC 37
(Pitts 7). Assists -- MSUN 4 (Matthews 2);
LCSC 18 (Burnett 6). Total fouls -- MSUN 19;
LCSC 18. Technical fouls -- none. Fouled out