LCSC shuts down Montana Tech 60-45
Junior guard Jeray Key scored 15 points and hit three of Lewis-Clark State College’s nine 3-pointers to help the Warriors stop Montana Tech 60-45 in a Frontier Conference men’s basketball contest at the LCSC Activity Center on Saturday night.
The victory helped LCSC start conference play as the only 2-0 team and improved its season mark to 12-3, its best start since the 2003-04 season.
Key scored 11 of his 15 points in the first half when the Warriors were able to gain the upper hand in the defensive battle.
Montana Tech, which was coming off an upset win over No. 6-ranked Westminster on Thursday night, tried to slow the tempo of the game because it had only eight players available. The Orediggers stymied the Warriors at times, but LCSC used a couple of small runs to grab a 33-21 halftime lead.
The Warriors then put the defensive screws to Montana Tech and held the Orediggers to six points for the first 11:30 of the second half to grab a 46-27 lead. The Orediggers couldn’t get closer than 13 the rest of the way and despite scoring eight points in the final 65 seconds of the game, the 45 points was its lowest output of the season and lowest amount allowed by LC this season.
The Orediggers, who lost their first 10 games of the season, fall to 3-12 overall and 1-1 in conference play.
“I’ve always said I’d take an ugly win over a pretty loss anytime,” Warrior coach Tim Walker said.
The Warriors did finish 9-of-21 from the 3-point line in the contest, but just 22-of-54 overall for 40.7 percent. LCSC also had 20 turnovers in the contest.
LCSC’s man defense held the Orediggers to just 18-of-51 from the field, 35.3 percent, and 0-for-10 from the 3-point line. LCSC also forced 16 turnovers and had a 40-29 rebounding advantage.
Key finished 5-of-10 from the field, including 3-of-5 from the 3-point line, and also added five rebounds and four assists. David Johnson, despite going 1-of-7 from the field, grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds to go along with six assists and a steal.
Junior forward Alex King finished with nine points, but was plagued by foul trouble most of the night. Darin Stewart added nine points off the bench.
Point guard Tyree Haynie led Montana Tech with 15 points, while Kellen Hasquet added 10.
The Warriors are back in action next week for their first conference road games. LCSC plays in Billings, Mont., on Thursday against Rocky Mountain, and then heads to Helena, Mont., to face Carroll on Saturday. Both contests are at 7 p.m.