Hot start helps LCSC roll by Walla Walla U.
LEWISTON, Idaho – Junior post Donte Roberts scored 13 of his game-high 21 points in the second half to help the Lewis-Clark State College men’s basketball team dominate the paint and defeat Walla Walla University 83-67 in the final game of the Life Flight Network Thanksgiving Tournament at the LCSC Activity Center on Saturday.
The 6-foot-9 Roberts helped LCSC outscore Walla Walla 42-18 in the paint and improve the Warriors to 4-1 overall on the season while the Wolves fell to 0-7.
Both LCSC and Carroll College went 2-0 in the tournament, which featured pre-determined pairings, while Walla Walla and Evergreen State went 0-2. Carroll defeated Evergreen State 86-67 in Saturday’s other contest. Carroll is 7-2 on the season, while Evergreen State is 1-5.
The Warriors never trailed on Saturday and raced out to an 11-2 lead less than three minutes into the contest as Robert scored the first six Warrior points. Although Walla Walla could never get closer than five the rest of the way, the Warriors had a hard time putting the Wolves away.
LCSC led 25-8 with 11:34 remaining in the opening half, but Walla Walla went on a 12-0 run to cut the margin to 25-20. With LCSC ahead 31-26 with less than four minutes in the half, the Warriors went on a 14-2 run for a 35-28 halftime lead. Keying the run was senior guard Jared Giammona, who was named the tournament’s MVP. Giammona had five points during the run, including a 3-pointer that put the Warriors ahead by double digits.
LCSC would keep the double digit lead in the second half, although the Wolves cut the margin to 10 points on three occasions, the last at 62-52 with 12:05 left. The Warriors, however, had an answer and did a better job at the foul line than in Friday’s win as they hit 11-of-17 free throws in the final 20 minutes to preserve the victory.
“In the first half, I thought we came out of the gate well but then lost some of our intensity,” LCSC coach Tim Walker said. “Then we got it going again toward the end of the half. I thought we did the same thing in the second half.”
The Warriors had 15 assists on 19 baskets in the opening half and finished with 21 assists.
Giammona, who had a team-high 18 points in Friday’s 91-81 win over Evergreen State, added 11 points, three assists, and two steals in Saturday’s game. He finished the tournament 7-of-10 from the 3-point line.
Teammate David Johnson recorded a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds, and also had three assists and a steal to join Giammona on the all-tournament team. Also on the team were Chase Godecke and Andy Garland of Carroll, Josh Henderson of Walla Walla, and Marice Tolliver of Evergreen State.
Roberts finished the game 9-of-14 from the field and added five rebounds and a steal. Devon Adams also was in double figures for LCSC with 10 points, four assists, and two steals.
In all four wins this season, LCSC has had at least four players in double figures scoring.
LCSC finished the game 32-of-66 from the field for 48.5 percent and forced 19 turnovers. Walla Walla was 27-of-61 from the field for 44.3 percent, including 11-of-27 from the 3-point line for 40.7 percent.
Andrew Bailey led the Geoducks with 14 points and 12 rebounds, while Henderson had 13 points. Tom Creasey added 11 points and five boards.
The coaches and scorer’s table were the voters for the all-tournament team.
LCSC will hit the road next weekend for three games in California. The Warriors tangle with Menlo College on Friday in Atherton at 8 p.m., and then play Holy Names University in Oakland at 6 p.m. on Saturday. LCSC wraps up the trip when it takes on Cal Maritime Academy on Monday, Dec. 6, in Vallejo at 7:30 p.m.