McCauley, L-C women smash Malaspina 87-30
By MATT BANEY OF THE TRIBUNE
Copyright of The Lewiston
There have been a few things different for Lewis-Clark
State post Leah McCauley this season. She is no longer wearing a chunky
brace on her knee, and she is operating with a full tank of confidence.
McCauley and the Warrior women continued their recent splurge of
satisfying play on Friday night, bombing Canadian visitor Malaspina 87-30 to
improve to 10-4.
It was the LCSC women's second-to-last appearance in Warrior Gym before
moving into their new 3,500-seat arena. The women's finale in the old
building will be this afternoon, when they again take on the Mariners at 2.
Overmatched Malaspina (3-13) had no chance against L-C's Ashley Baker,
who powered her way to 21 points on 9-for-15 shooting. The 6-foot-3
sophomore also tracked down 11 rebounds.
And when Baker went to the bench, McCauley did a respectable job in her
place. The 6-2 Grangeville native rattled in 11 points, which included five
of her patented turnaround jumpers.
McCauley's collegiate career has been interrupted by two knee injuries --
one each in the last two seasons. Until recently, she had never seemed
comfortable with this level.
"She's night and day," Warriors coach Brian Orr said. "She's had moments
the last two seasons where she's looked like this, but they've been very
brief and they've been flashes. Right now, she's as confident as anybody on
our team, and it's great to see."
"Oh, definitely," McCauley said. "The coach, the team, my family have
definitely boosted up my confidence this year."
Plus, she can move freely. When she returned to the court after her first
knee injury, McCauley wore a large brace to protect against another mishap.
"And I ended up tearing it again with (the brace) on," she said. "So I
said, 'Hey, I'm done with that.' I don't miss it at all. I feel like I can
move a lot better without it."
LCSC's bench also got nine points and three steals from Katie Hart, who
ignited the game-turning push.
Ten minutes before halftime, with the Warriors up three point, Hart
buried a 3-pointer. Then, on back-to-back plays, the freshman from
Ellensburg stole the ball and went coast-to-coast for layups. Hart's
personal run made it 21-11, and the margin remained in double digits the
rest of the game.
Kendra West gathered 14 points (on 5-for-8 shooting) while Nikki Haerling
cataloged nine points, seven assists and four steals. All but one of the 12
Warriors in uniform scored.
With a 24-point lead at halftime, L-C outscored Malaspina 44-11 in the
second half. But the Warriors turned a bit ragged down the stretch.
"I'm not so sure about the second half," Orr said. "We got a big lead,
and it's hard to stay focused. ... There were some little things that I
thought we needed to do better at."
NOTES -- Today's game won't be the ultimate Warrior Gym finale. The LCSC
men will take on Northern British Columbia Dec. 29 and 30.
Kirkbride 5-12 0-2 10, Smyth 0-2 0-2 0, Trepanier 0-0 1-3 1, Wood 0-4 0-0
0, J. Keller 3-7 2-2 11, K. Keller 0-1 0-0 0, Vogt 1-5 0-0 2, Chow 1-7 0-2
2, MacLeod 2-3 0-2 4. Totals 12-41 3-13 30.
LEWIS-CLARK STATE (10-4)
Kalbfleisch 1-7 4-4 7, K. West 5-8 2-2 14, Baker 9-15 3-4 21, Haerling
4-7 1-3 9, Fulbright 2-3 1-2 5, Hart 4-7 0-0 9, Wittmer 0-0 0-0 0, Yancheva
1-5 0-0 3, Boggs 1-4 1-2 3, V. West 1-2 1-2 3, Jackson 1-4 0-0 2, McCauley
5-11 1-2 11. Totals 34-73 14-21 87.
Halftime score -- LCSC 42, Malaspina 19. Three-point goals -- Malaspina
3-12 (J. Keller 3-6, K. Keller 0-1, Chow 0-5); LCSC 5-18 (Kalbfleisch 1-6,
K. West 2-3, Fulbright 0-1, Hart 1-1, Yancheva 1-5, Boggs 0-2). Rebounds --
Malaspina 36 (Vogt 9); LCSC 39 (Baker 11). Assists -- Malaspina 5 (J. Keller
2); LCSC 23 (Haerling 7). Total fouls -- Malaspina 14; LCSC 13. Technical
fouls -- none. Fouled out -- none.