LCSC rolls to fourth largest win in dumping Walla Walla 119-48
Forcing 40 turnovers, which it converted into 44 points, the Lewis-Clark State College men’s basketball team used defense and a sizable height advantage to steamroll Walla Walla University 119-48 in a nonleague game at the LCSC Activity Center on Wednesday night.
LCSC snapped a three-game losing streak with the fourth largest win in program history. The 71-point margin of victory is LCSC’s largest since the 1989-90 season when the Warriors defeated Simpson College 178-77. The 101-point margin of victory is an NAIA record.
The Warriors, 4-4 overall, took control of this game early and outscored Walla Walla 44-0 on points off of turnovers and also outscored the Wolves 50-4 in the paint. In fact, Walla Walla’s 15 points in the first half all came on 3-pointers. The Wolves didn’t score a point from beyond the arc until the 15:31 mark of the second half when Devin Harrison made a couple of free throws. Walla Walla’s first non 3-point basket came with 15:07 remaining.
“I thought we defended their dribble motion scheme really well,” LCSC coach Tim Walker said. “We took their penetration away and rotated well, and with our size advantage, they didn’t have a lot open looks at the basket.”
After Walla Walla hit a 3-pointer to start the game, the Warrior responded with seven straight points and used a 17-3 run to take a 17-6 lead. After another Walla Walla 3-point, the Warriors ran off 13 straight points for a 30-9 advantage. LCSC continued to roll and forced 21 turnovers in the first half to take a 53-15 lead at intermission.
“Our guys played fairly hard,” Walker said. “I thought we did a nice job in that first half defensively.”
The Warriors continued to roll in the second half, shooting 78.9 percent from the field (30-of-38) and forcing 19 more turnovers. For the game, LCSC had only eight turnovers, which was a big improvement from last Sunday when LCSC had 21 turnovers in a loss to Montana Tech.
“We tried to make that an emphasis this week and really talked about valuing the basketball and not to force things,” Walker said. “We took care of the ball tonight.”
The Warriors had 23 assists, 26 steals, and six blocked shots. They also shot 52-of-80 from the field, 65 percent, and 13-of-16 at the foul line, 81.3 percent.
LCSC also outrebounded Walla Walla 37-27 with 13 offensive rebounds. Walla Walla had only one player taller than 6-foot-3, while LCSC has four players 6-8 or taller.
In fact, LCSC’s only non-bright spot was its 3-point shooting, which in turn, was Walla Walla’s lone highlight. LCSC was just 2-of-10 from the arc while the Wolves were 14-of-29 from the 3-point line for 48.3 percent, but finished just 2 of-19 from inside the arc.
LCSC put six players in double figures, led by Drew Arnold’s 25 points and seven rebounds. Curtis Allen added 22 points, while Tanner McIntosh and James Craft had 18 points apiece. Daniel Williams added 11 points.
Perhaps the most impressive line came from senior guard Brian Duckworth, who finished with 12 points, but also had seven assists and nine steals, three off tying the single-game school record.
Joshua Henderson had 20 points for Walla Walla, while Jheremy Haynes added 12.
The Warriors again were without starting guard JR Gordon, who is sidelined by a back injury, and also was without freshman guard Daniel Simon, who has a hip flexor. Williams rolled an ankle earlier in the week but was cleared on Wednesday to play in the game. Also, LCSC was without senior post Casey Riley, who quit the team on Monday.
LCSC returns to action next Friday and Saturday for the Humboldt State Tournament in Arcata, Calif. LCSC meets host Humboldt State on Friday night at 7:30, and then plays Sonoma State on Saturday at 5:30 p.m.