HELENA, Mont. - A furious comeback attempt came up just short as the Lewis-Clark State College men's basketball team lost its second straight game on the road, this time to Carroll College 80-71 in Frontier Conference play on Saturday night.
LCSC trailed by as much as 16 in the second half, including 50-34 with approximately 12 minutes left in the game, but rallied to cut the margin to 63-59 with a little more than four minutes left. However, after Curtis Allen's two free throws made it a four-point game, Carroll responded with five consecutive points to make it 68-59.
Allen, who scored all of his game-high 21 points in the second half, hit a pair of free throws with 1:08 left to make it 72-67, and a few seconds later Terrell Wallace answered a Carroll buck with a 3-pointer to make it 74-70.
The Warriors were then forced to foul, and Carroll's Chad Vaculin hit a pair of free throws with 42 seconds left. After LCSC missed a 3-pointer, Carroll's Zach Parks hti two more free throws to make it 78-70. The two teams then exchanged free throws for the final.
The win lifts Carroll, ranked No. 13 in the NAIA, to 4-1 in conference play and 14-2 overall and snapped a two-game streak of playing in overtime games. LCSC falls to 2-4 in conference play and 8-8 overall.
Carroll nearly led from start to finish on Saturday, opening up an 18-10 advantage. The Saints led by as much as 11 in the first half before LCSC cut it to five. Carroll managed to boost it back to a 34-25 advantage at halftime.
In the second half, Carroll appeared to be pulling away for an easy win when Allen caught fire and led the Warrior comeback. The 6-foot-3 senior guard picked up two fouls in the first two minutes of the game and later added a third to sit out most of the first half in foul trouble. However, he took over in the second half to lead the Warriors.
With Allen out in the first half, backup guard Alex Malleri scored 13 of his season-high 15 points in the opening half. Wallace added 10 points.
Again, two of the keys to the game came down to turnovers and rebounding, both of which have been problem areas for the Warriors. LCSC had 11 turnovers and gave up six offensive rebounds in the first half. That allowed Carroll to take nine more shots from the field than LCSC.
for the game, Caroll had a 35-27 rebounding edge and forced 19 Warrior turnovers.
"We really battled back tonight and went to a smaller lineup that gave them some trouble," LCSC assistant coach Tim Collins said. "But we had way too many unforced turnovers. You can't play a team of Carroll's caliber and have that many empty possessions.
LCSC is now 1-8 in games where it has allowed 67 or more points.
Scott Stockwell was one of four players in double figures for Carroll with 16 points, while Josh Saunders had 15, Chris Medina 13, and Parks with 12.
LCSC is again on the road next week as the Warriors travel to Salt Lake City to face top-ranked Westminster at 6:30 p.m. next Saturday. Westminster may not keep its top spot after losing to Rocky Mountain in Billings on Saturday.
LCSC's next home game is Feb. 5 against Montana State University-Northern at 8 p.m. at the LCSC Activity Center. That's the start of the second half of conference play, which will see LCSC play five of the seven games at home.