surges into FC finals
of the Lewiston Morning Tribune
BUTTE, Mont. -- Not that George Pfeifer is
complaining, but his Lewis-Clark State men's
basketball team seems to have fallen into a rut
during the Frontier Conference tournament.
As in their previous victory, the Warriors played
a boiling first half and got a marquee performance
from an unlikely source. That led to a 75-68
semifinal triumph for third-seeded LCSC over
second-seeded Westminster on Friday afternoon.
The Warriors (24-8) will now try to repeat as
champions of this tournament -- and nab the
automatic berth in the NAIA Division I tournament
that goes with the title. They'll take on
Montana-Western tonight at 7 PST.
By halftime, LCSC had barreled to a 31-16 lead
over the ninth-ranked Griffins. The margin was
created by a 17-3 run during the middle portion of
the half -- a sprint that included eight points from
Fraser, a Clarkston High graduate who transferred
from Walla Walla Community College during the
offseason, wound up with a game-high 16 points. The
5-11 reserve guard made 5 of 6 floor shots and 4 of
5 free throws.
"Justin came in and just went, whap, whap,"
Pfeifer said of the junior. "That was huge, and it
started our run."
Five minutes into the second half, the Griffins
had rallied to within nine. But after an L-C
timeout, Joey Ray connected on a 3-pointer that
ignited a 13-4 blitz.
Ray's basket came off a play the Warriors set up
during the timeout.
"... It was a H-O-R-S-E shot," Pfeifer said. "The
forward came flying at him, he shot-faked him and
the guy ended up on our bench. (Ray) actually got to
stand there and stare at the basket for two seconds
before he shot it."
After halftime, the Griffins' shooting improved,
as they went 17-for-37 from the floor, including a
6-for-13 mark from 3-point range. But they couldn't
overcome their morbid 6-for-21 showing (28.6
percent) in the first half.
Shortly after its blowout of Montana
State-Northern on Thursday, L-C turned its focus to
the Griffins, Pfeifer said.
After that game, "I made some comment like, 'We
can get prepared to play (Westminster), but we're
going to have to meet in about an hour,' " he said.
"Nobody flinched, and then we went into the room and
the meeting lasted for 90 minutes. There were tons
of questions asked, there was tons of interaction.
So I really felt like we were dialed in."
In tonight's title tilt, LCSC will be without
James Idoko. Midway through the second half, the
senior post got into an altercation with
Westminster's Shane Humphreys. Both players were
called for technical fouls, and Idoko was ejected --
which carries a mandatory suspension for the
Pfeifer said Humphreys made the first shove, then
"Our guy got ejected because he's the guy they
saw," Pfeifer said. "They always catch the second
"I wish James hadn't of done it, but in light of
what he had to endure, sometimes that stuff
The Warriors continued their torrid shooting,
connecting on 25 of 41 (61 percent) of their shots.
They also made 9 of 16 3-pointers and 16 of 18 free
Ray followed his strong first-round game with a
15-point performance. Danny Allen collected 12
points while John Moore registered nine points and
Regardless of tonight's outcome, LCSC will almost
certainly be awarded a place in the national
tournament. It will be the first time in the
program's history that the Warriors have made
back-to-back trips to nationals.
LEWIS-CLARK STATE (24-8)
Moore 3-6 3-3 9, Brothers 3-4 0-0 6, Pitts 0-1
0-0 0, Allen 5-7 0-0 12, Bishop 2-4 3-4 8, Ray 4-6
4-4 15, Fraser 5-6 4-5 16, Idoko 2-4 0-0 4, Tikker
1-3 2-2 5. Totals 25-41 16-18 75.
Booth 2-3 1-4 5, Mark 4-7 3-4 13, Cramer 2-7 0-0
6, Ruiz 6-15 3-5 16, Humphreys 3-11 4-4 11, Holcombe
0-0 0-0 0, Reeder 4-7 2-2 11, Olson 0-2 0-0 0,
Buroker 2-6 0-0 6. Totals 23-58 13-19 68.
Halftime score -- LCSC 31, WC 16. Three-point
goals -- LCSC 9-16 (Moore 0-1, Allen 2-3, Bishop
1-2, Ray 3-5, Fraser 2-3, Tikker 1-2); WC 9-22 (Mark
2-3, Cramer 2-2, Ruiz 1-4, Humphreys 1-6, Reeder
1-2, Buroker 2-5). Rebounds -- LCSC 27 (Brothers 5);
WC 29 (Mark, Humphreys 6). Assists -- LCSC 13 (four
with 2); WC 9 (Cramer 3). Total fouls -- LCSC 21; WC
18. Technical fouls -- Idoko, Humphreys. Fouled out
-- Idoko, Cramer, Humphreys.