BUTTE, Mont. – Perhaps the Lewis-Clark State College men’s basketball team has found the secret to success on the road this season – play earlier.
Always scheduled to play the second game of a doubleheader in Frontier Conference play, the Warrior men had their game against Montana Tech moved to be the opener so the women’s game could be the feature game as part of a Breast Cancer Awareness event. The LCSC men responded with perhaps their best performance on the road this season with a 79-65 win over the Orediggers on Friday night.
The win lifts LCSC to 4-6 in conference play and 10-10 overall, while Montana Tech falls to 1-9 in league and 8-16 overall with its eighth straight loss.
The Warriors took early on Brian Duckworth’s 3-point shot, which made it 7-6 for LCSC, and never looked back. LCSC led by as much as 16 in the first half before setting for a 35-22 advantage at halftime. The Warriors led by as 23 in the second half, but Tech did make things interesting with a 15-0 run to cut the Warriors’ lead to eight, 65-57, with 3:33 left. Curtis Allen, however, broke the streak with a bucket to push the lead to 10 and LCSC outscored Tech 14-6 over the final haul to claim the win.
Allen, a senior guard, led all scorers in the game with 20 points, 17 of which came in the second half. He also led the Warriors with eight rebounds and went 8-of-12 at the foul line. Fellow senior guard Duckworth added 17 points and helped LCSC enjoy one of its betters 3-point shooting nights this season by nailing four 3-pointers. LCSC wound up hitting 8-of-15 3-pointes in the game.
Posts Drew Arnold and Tanner McIntosh added eight points apiece. Arnold also had seven rebounds.
For the second straight game, the Warriors did a nice job of taking care of the basketball. LCSC finished with only 10 turnovers, including just three in the second half. Tech had 20 turnovers, including 11 steals by LCSC. The turnovers were a big difference in the game as LCSC converted the 20 turnovers in 17 points, while Tech was unable to capitalize and score a single point off LCSC turnovers.
The Warrior bench also outscored Tech’s bench 23-11 in the game.
For the night, LCSC was 26-of-54 from the field for 48 percent, and 19-of-29 at the foul line, including 16-of-23 in the second half. Tech finished 26-of-57 for 45.6 percent, including 8-of-23 from the 3-point arc. Tech also had problems at the foul line where it was just 5-of-12.
The win gave LCSC a 2-1 edge in the series between the two teams this season. Tech defeated the Warriors 91-73 in a nonleague game in December in Butte, but LCSC won the first conference meeting last month in Lewiston 68-47.
The Warriors will try to stretch their win streak to three on Saturday night when they face Montana Western in Dillon, Mont. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m., Pacific time.