Hot start helps Warrior men roll past Northwest
CALDWELL, Idaho – Hitting its first six shots of the game, the Lewis-Clark State College men’s basketball team rode its hot start and never looked back in defeating Northwest University 83-70 in the second day of the College of Idaho Golden Rule Shootout on Saturday.
The Warriors, who went 2-0 in the tournament after beating College of Idaho on Friday, improve to 6-1 on the season.
LCSC buried its first six shots, including two 3-pointers, to jump out to a 14-6 lead less than five minutes into the contest. Although Northwest fought back and cut the lead to four on a few occasions in the first half, the Warriors used two 3-pointers from Jared Giammona and another from Derek Gianukakis to forge a 12-point lead at 29-17 at the 7:50 mark of the first half.
“We got a couple of turnovers to start the game and that helped us with our start,” LCSC assistant coach Tim Collins said. “This team is very similar to the College of Idaho so our game plan going in was to pressure them right off the bat. That got it going for us.”
The Warriors led by as much as 15 in the first half before they settled for a 44-31 advantage at halftime.
The Warriors were successful with the long ball early as they hit five of their first eight 3-point attempts. They finished the first half 6-of-11 behind the arc and 17-of-31 overall, both 54 percent. Those percentages helped LCSC overcome 10 turnovers in the first half. LCSC also forced 12 turnovers in the opening 20 minutes.
In the second half, the Warriors were able to extend the lead to 17 points early, but a 6-0 run helped Northwest cut the margin to nine points with more than 12 minutes remaining. Gianukakis responded with a 3-pointer to push the lead back to double digits where it stayed for the remainder of the game.
The Warriors continue their solid shooting in the second half and finished the game 31-of-55 from the field for 56.4 percent. From the 3-point line, the Warriors were 8-of-16 and they also were 13-of-15 at the foul line.
“We shot the ball well but we were also getting decent looks at the basket,” Collins said.
Northwest went 23-of-54 from the field for 42.6 percent, and 7-of-18 at the 3-point line, 38.9 percent. Northwest also shot 29 free throws and made 17.
LCSC put four players in double figures. Senior Tanner McIntosh tied for game-high scoring honors with 21 points. The 6-foot-8 forward was 8-of-11 from the field and 4-of-5 at the foul line. He also tied teammate Daniel Williams with a game-high seven rebounds.
Giammona finished with a season-high 18 points on 7-of-11 shooting, including 4-of-7 at the 3-point line, while Williams added 13 points and Gianukakis finished with 10. James Craft, who led LCSC’s win over College of Idaho on Friday night, finished with eight points and five boards.
LCSC had a 36-25 rebounding advantage, but did finish the game with 20 turnovers.
Jason Waltman led Northwest with 21 points.
Northwest finished the tournament 0-2 after falling 72-60 to Westminster in Friday night’s opening round. The Eagles are 2-3 on the season.
“This was a tough, grind-it-out road trip with three games on the road over four days, so it says a lot about our team to get the last two,” Collins said.
The Warriors will play host to the four-team Cannon’s Building Materials Tournament next Friday and Saturday at the LCSC Activity Center. Evergreen State College and Montana State-Northern kick off action at 5 p.m. on Friday, followed by LCSC and Eastern Oregon at 7 p.m. On Saturday, it’s Eastern Oregon against Montana State-Northern at 5 p.m., with Evergreen State and LCSC playing at 7 p.m. After that tournament, LCSC won’t have a home game for a month.