LCSC men use inside attack and defensive plan to thwart Orediggers
BUTTE, Mont. – A good shooting percentage and strong defense led the Lewis-Clark State College men’s basketball team to a 66-54 win over Montana Tech on Saturday night. LCSC’s Markus Monroe finished with a game-high 20 points.
LCSC had an eight point lead at halftime and extended its lead to 44-28 with around 13 minutes left, however, the Orediggers proved to be a resilient foe. Montana Tech, led by Dean Colbray who finished with 19 points, went on a 20-4 run to tie the game up at 48-48 with 6:38 left on the clock.
The Warriors used their defense to put the brakes on Tech’s comeback effort and held their opponent to just six points over the remainder of the game.
“It was a great team win, and we played great defensively,” said LCSC assistant coach Tim Collins. “We had a defensive game plan tonight on how we were going to guard their offense, and our guys did a great job of doing what we asked them.”
LCSC, now 11-7 overall and 2-2 in the Frontier Conference, forced the Orediggers to shoot 32.3 percent from the field and to commit 16 turnovers.
Shooting only 3-of-13 from 3-point territory, the Warriors’ offense revolved around their presence on the inside.
“If you look at a shot chart, all of our makes are in the paint,” said Collins. “We made a couple key jumpers here and there, but all of our big guys played real well.’
Thanks to effective inside game the Warriors outscored Tech 34-18 in the paint finished the game with a 51.1 shooting percentage from the field.
Forward Tanner McIntosh scored 14 points and also had three blocks, and center James Craft made key baskets down the stretch and finished with eight points. LCSC’s Derek Gianukakis had 10 points and a game-high eight rebounds.
LCSC guard Terrell Wallace also made important contributions as he finished with 12 points including a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from around 22 feet away to make the score 61-51. He also had three assists.
Despite seeming to have an advantage on the inside, Lewis-Clark State, which finished with 14 turnovers, gave up 20 offensive boards and was outrebounded 41-34 overall.
For Montana Tech, which is now 7-13 overall and 0-4 in conference play, Colbray was the only Oredigger to reach double-digits in scoring. AJ Paine finished had nine points and four rebounds, and Cole Conway led the team with seven rebounds.
After going 1-1 on the road trip, Lewis-Clark State will now return to the Activity Center to face Rocky Mountain College on Thursday at 8 p.m., and Carroll College at 8 p.m. on Saturday.
“We’re Coming back home to face two tough teams in Rocky and Carroll,” said Collins. “We’ll need to do a better job of rebounding and taking care of the basketball.”