LCSC men come up short vs. Montana Western
DILLON, Mont. – Too bad for the Lewis-Clark State College men’s basketball team that University of Montana Western guard Chad Myers didn’t have a bow and arrow in his hands instead of a basketball on Valentine’s Day.
Myers was anything but Cupid for the Warriors on Saturday night as he hit five 3-point shots in the first half on his way to 21 points to help the Bulldogs to a 79-75 Frontier Conference victory.
The loss drops LCSC to 4-7 in league play and all but sealed LCSC’s fate in the first round of the conference tournament. The Warriors are 10-11 overall. UMW is 6-5 in league play and 13-12 overall after sweeping LCSC this season/
LCSC entered Saturday on a two-game win streak and had one its best performances on the road in Friday night’s win against Montana Tech in Butte.
The Bulldogs, however, were coming off an impressive win over No. 3-ranked Westminster and showed no signs of a letdown by jumping on the Warriors early and leading the entire way, although the Warriors did make things interesting at the end. Western finished 12-of-23 from the 3-point line.
Myers made sure the Bulldogs stayed in charge in the first half. He hit 5-of-7 3-point shots in the first half for 17 points as the Bulldogs led by as much as 19 in the first half before settling for a 45-33 lead.
Myers had plenty of help as well. As a team, Montana Western went 9-of-14 from the 3-point arc for 64 percent accuracy. Inside the arc, UMW went just 4-of-13 from the field in the opening 20 minutes.
Still, the Warriors didn’t make it easy for UMW. After the Bulldogs opened the second half with a bucket, LCSC ran off 10 straight points to make it 47-43. LCSC eventually got within three at 50-47, but the Bulldogs used an 11-0 run, including eight straight JaRon Brown, for a 61-47 lead.
LCSC cut the margin to seven points on three occasions, and then to five points, 77-72, with 22 seconds left on three free throws by Brian Duckworth. After a Western free throw, the Warriors had a chance but could only muster an offensive putback by Curtis Allen at the buzzer for the final.
Allen finished with a game-high 25 points on 12-of-21 shooting from the field, while Duckworth had 22 points and was a perfect 11-of-11 at the foul line. Allen and James Craft led LCSC in rebounds with nine.
Garrett Fink had a double-double for UMW with 16 points and 12 rebounds.
For the game, UMW was 26-of-55 from the field for 47.3 percent, while LCSC was 29-of-72, 40.3 percent. LCSC was just 3-of-11 at the 3-point line.
The loss was a serious blow to LCSC’s chances of finishing in the upper half of the conference standings. The top four teams in the conference play host to the bottom four in the first-round of the FC Tournament. LCSC will have to win its final three games and hope for some help in order to make the top four and play host to a first-round game.
LCSC returns to action on Thursday night when it plays host to Carroll College at 8 p.m. at the LCSC Activity Center. The night has been designated as “Whiteout Night” and all fans are encouraged to wear white to the game. A limited number of special “Whiteout Night” T-shirts also will be sold at the game for $5.