King's double-double helps LCSC to 70-61 win
LEWISTON, Idaho – Senior forward Alex King recorded a double-double in the first half and the Lewis-Clark State College men’s basketball team held off a second-half rally to move into a tie for first place in the Frontier Conference standings with a 70-61 win over Montana State University-Northern at the LCSC Activity Center on Thursday night.
King a 6-foot-6 power forward from Tacoma, Wash., finished with game high of 15 points and 11 rebounds to record his first double-digit scoring and rebounding game of the season. He had 10 points and 10 rebounds in 13 minutes of play in the first half as the Warriors never trailed after the opening five minutes.
Both teams are now 4-2 in conference play and in a four-way tie for the top spot along with Westminster and Montana Western. LCSC improves to 14-5 overall, while MSU-Northern, ranked No. 19 in this week’s NAIA poll, falls to 15-6 and had its three-game win streak snapped.
MSU-Northern’s David Maddock hit a 3-pointer at the 15:46 mark to put the Lights up 9-6. However, LCSC’s defense kept the Lights scoreless for the next 8:42 of the game while the Warriors went on a 15-0 run. That put LCSC ahead 23-9 with less than seven minutes remaining in the opening half.
LCSC built the lead to 16 points before it settled for a 35-21 halftime lead behind King’s inside dominance. It’s the first time in his career King had a double-double by halftime.
In the second half, the Warriors took a 39-22 lead early, but the Lights answered with an 11-2 run to cut the deficit to eight. After LCSC pushed the lead up to 13, the Lights used another run and made it 51-50 with 8:08 left.
However, the Lights couldn’t get over the hump. The team had only nine players and couldn’t stop LCSC inside. Junior post Donte Roberts scored on back-to-back possessions for LCSC and King hit a free throw for a 5-0 run to make it 56-50. LCSC got the lead to eight, but a couple of Warrior turnovers helped MSU-Northern cut the margin to 62-59 with two minutes remaining.
LCSC responded by closing out the game hitting 6-of-8 free throws and Warrior senior guard Jared Giammona put the exclamation point on the win when the 6-footer dunked the ball for the first time in his career at the final buzzer.
King finished the night 5-of-12 from the field and 5-of-7 at the foul line. He and Roberts had five offensive boards apiece as LCSC outrebounded the Lights 37-34.
Jeray Key added 13 points for LCSC, while David Johnson and Giammona had 10 each. Giammona also had five assists and a steal.
Ben Mitchell had 13 points and five boards to lead the Lights, while Joe Simpson had 11 points and eight boards despite missing almost the entire first half with two quick fouls.
For the game, LCSC was 25-of-55 from the field for 45.5 percent, and 4-of-7 at the 3-point line for 57.1 percent. MSU-Northern was 24-of-53 for 45.3 percent, including 5-of-22 from the arc, for 22.7 percent.
The Warriors return to action on Saturday when they play host to the University of Great Falls to wrap up the first half of conference play. The contest, which follows the women’s game between the same two teams, begins at 8 p.m.