Warrior men stay unbeaten in FC play
BILLINGS, Mont. - The Lewis-Clark State College men's basketball team continues to be the surprise of the Frontier Conference as they improved to 3-0 in Frontier Conference play with an 83-72 win over Rocky Mountain on Thursday night.
The Warriors, ranked No. 21 in the NAIA, improved to 13-3 overall and are in sole possession of first place in the conference. LCSC was picked to finish sixth in the eight-team conference in the coaches' preseason poll. LCSC is just one of two teams left unbeaten in conference play.
RMC, which won the NAIA national title two seasons ago, falls to 8-10 overall and 1-1 in league play.
LCSC led from the start in Thursday's game and pushed the lead to double digits in the first half at 33-22 on a pair of 3-pointers by Jared Giammona and one by David Johnson. LCSC kept the lead in double digits at 44-32 at halftime.
In the second half, LCSC led by as much as 19 at 53-34, but the Bears were able to whittle away at the margin and cut it to seven at 70-63 with about three minutes remaining. LCSC, however, answered with a 4-0 run and the Bears couldn't get closer than eight the rest of the way because the Warriors hit their free throws down the stretch.
In picking up their fifth straight win, the Warriors have now scored 80 or more points 10 times this season. Last season, LCSC only hit that mark nine times in 29 games when it went 14-15 on the season.
As they have done for most of the season, the Warriors used a balanced attack. LCSC had 10 players score between 2-8 points in the first half.
Jeray Key had 11 of his game-high 19 points in the second half and did most of his damage at the foul line where he hit 12-of-14 free throws. As a team, LCSC was 23-of-32 at the line for 72 percent, while RMC was 13-of-22 for 59 percent.
Alex King added 14 points for LCSC, while Giammona had 11. Devon Adams finished with nine, while Johnson and Derek Gianukakis had eight points each.
The Warriors enjoyed a strong shooting night as they hit 26-of-54 shots for 48 percent, including 8-of-15 from the 3-point line for 53 percent. LCSC, however, had 22 turnovers, which helped RMC take 16 more shots from the field than the Warriors.
RMC, however, didn't have LCSC's shooting touch. The Bears finished 28-of-70 from the field for 40 percent and were only 3-of-16 from the 3-point line for 19 percent. RMC also had 17 turnovers.
LCSC held a small 42-40 rebounding edge with Donte Roberts leading the way with nine boards, while King added eight.
Mark Desin led five RMC players in double figures with 17 points.
LCSC returns to action on Saturday when it travels to Helena, Mont., to face Carroll College. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m., Pacific time.