Making a journey from Three Hills, Alberta, to Lewiston in a January snowstorm is the kind of task that would look harrowing on a movie screen, to say nothing of real life. Before the players from Prairie Bible College slipped on their uniforms Friday, they traversed that daunting route.
The Lewis-Clark State Warriors were probably impressed ... but only to a certain point.
When the two teams met for a women's basketball game Friday evening at Warrior Gym, L-C delivered an unsympathetic thrashing of historic proportions. The Warriors' 116-24 triumph set at least five team or individual records and, if L-C kept more complete statistics, other standards probably would have been reached.
Of the known marks, the point total is LCSC's highest -- 111 was the previous high -- as is the 92-point margin of victory, surpassing 70. Backup post Elise de Groot set an L-C career high with 27 points, BreAnna Mulvey did the same with eight steals and Jessica Foot tied her career mark with six steals.
But maybe more impressive were the preposterous scores a decent-sized crowd witnessed. The Warriors led 15-0, 41-2 and, at halftime, 65-8. They climbed to a 102-16 mark with seven minutes left in the game, and matched their school-best point total with over five minutes remaining.
"It's nice to win by that much, and it's always a surprise," de Groot said. "But I think the way we played, it was inevitable."
For the Pilots, 3-13, their long day on the road was made longer by this beating. With only seven players in uniform, the Warriors weren't able to cycle in a second unit during the second half.
"As a coach, if you've ever been anywhere near that situation, you have empathy for the guy that's sitting down there and the players down there," L-C coach Brian Orr said. "... They had a long trip; there were bad roads. But at the same time, we want to play hard. We're not worried about their feelings to the point where we're not going to execute, we're not going to play hard, we're not going to try to score."
De Groot and Ashley Baker, both 6-foot-3, met little resistance in the paint, combining for 48 points and 22 rebounds. Foot added 20 points and eight assists; Cami Kalbfleisch tallied 18 points, five assists and four blocks; and Mulvey came up with 12 points and nine assists.
De Groot was particularly effective in the second half, scoring 18 points. She also provided the baskets that tied and set the records for margin of victory and total points.
"Everyone was passing inside, and they were all good passes," said the junior transfer from San Luis Obispo, Calif. "I would have been embarrassed if I didn't finish them."
This was the Warriors' seventh straight win, moving them to 11-4. It also gave them a counterbalance to their dubious 104-51 setback to Idaho State earlier this season. (Does that mean ISU would beat the Pilots by 145 points?)
LCSC will play PBC again today at 2. If this game was any indication, the Warriors won't let up.
"We had it (won) easy," Orr observed, "but we were still diving on the floor for loose balls, we were still moving the ball really well. I thought we got sloppy three or four possessions; otherwise, I was really proud of the way we executed."
NOTES -- Backup post LaNeice Morgan was unexpectedly absent from the L-C lineup. She has strep throat, but may play in today's game. "If she feels up to it, I'm going to let her play," Orr said. ... Also on the injury front, post Leah McCauley had surgery on her knee recently and is scheduled to join L-C's practice Jan. 21. Guard Elpidia Valle will get treatment on her back injury Wednesday. ... The Warriors' old scoring record came in a 111-53 victory over Westminster in 2000, and they won by 70 against Warner Pacific in 2000 and Whitman in 1980.
PRAIRIE BIBLE (3-13)
Simpson 1-8 0-0 2, Rude 1-6 0-2 2, May 4-11 1-2 10, Morales 1-10 0-0 2, Larson 2-5 0-0 4, Bryant 1-3 0-0 2, Klassen 1-5 0-0 2. Totals 11-48 1-4 24.
LEWIS-CLARK STATE (11-4)
Kalbfleisch 7-15 0-0 18, Mulvey 5-11 1-3 12, Foot 7-12 4-5 20, Baker 10-22 1-2 21, West 2-6 4-4 8, Wittmer 3-9 3-3 10, de Groot 12-17 3-3 27. Totals 46-92 16-20 116.
Halftime score -- LCSC 65, PBC 8. Three-point goals -- PBC 1-10 (Simpson 0-1, Rude 0-1, May 1-4, Morales 0-4); LCSC 8-21 (Kalbfleisch 4-9, Mulvey 1-4, Foot 2-6, West 0-1, Wittmer 1-1). Rebounds -- PBC 35 (Morales 6); LCSC 51 (Baker 13). Assists -- PBC 6 (Simpson, Bryant 2); LCSC 27 (Mulvey 9). Total fouls -- PBC 14; LCSC 8. Fouled out -- none. Technical fouls -- none.