LCSC men rule the boards, knock off No. 22 Bulldogs
LEWISTON, Idaho – Thanks to a season-high 24 offensive rebounds, the Lewis-Clark State College men’s basketball team rolled to a comfortable 82-72 win over the University of Montana Western in the Frontier Conference opener on Thursday night.
The win could be a sign of good things to come for the Warriors, who are now 11-3 on the year. Thursday’s victory marks the first time in the last five meetings that LCSC has defeated Montana Western. The last win came during the 2007-08 season, a year which the Warriors ended up winning the conference regular season and tournament titles.
The Bulldogs, ranked No. 22 in the most recent NAIA poll, are now at 12-4 overall and 0-1 in conference play.
LCSC was outshot 51 to 37.3 percent, but made up for this by getting a lot more chances to shoot. The Warriors made 28 out of a season-high 75 shots in the game, while UMW was held to just 49 attempts.
Somewhat surprisingly, the rebounding dominance wasn’t solely the result of LCSC’s post players, but was the result of a full team effort. All ten of LCSC’s players that stepped on the floor had multiple rebounds. Seven players had four or more, yet nobody reached double digits.
David Johnson led the team in scoring with 22 points, and also had five rebounds. Donnie Lao had 19 points and five boards, Donte Roberts had 13 points and seven boards, and point guard Jeray Key had nine points, five assists, and a team-high eight rebounds.
Overall, Lewis-Clark State, which led 32-26 at halftime and by as many as 16 in the second half, had a 30-22 edge in points in the paint and a whopping 23-2 advantage in second chance points.
The game was won and lost, for the most part, because of LCSC’s 46-31 lead in rebounds, yet the Warriors also did a good job of putting pressure on Western’s offense.
LCSC had 11 steals in the game and forced its opponent to 22 turnovers, while committing just 14 turnovers of its own. This defense led to a 18-7 advantage in points scored off of turnovers.
Brandon Brown’s 25 points and four assists led Western’s offensive efforts. Jared Smithson and Cody Thueringer also had 14 points apiece, while Tyler Hurley had 10 points and five rebounds, and Kyle Perry had a team-high nine rebounds.
Both teams went 8-for-19 from 3-point territory.
Lewis-Clark State will be back in the Activity Center on Saturday to face Montana Tech at 8 p.m. Fans are encouraged to wear Warrior red on Saturday, and are also reminded that the LCSC men’s and women’s basketball teams will be signing posters after the games.