Montana uses big run in the second half to pull away from LC in exhibition
MISSOULA, Mont. – The good news in the second half for the Lewis-Clark State College men’s basketball team is that it scored the first bucket to cut the University of Montana’s lead to four points in their exhibition contest on Thursday night.
The bad news for the Warriors is that Montana scored the next 31 points.
Holding the Warriors scoreless for nearly 13 minutes, the Grizzlies were able to break away and claim a 59-39 win in the first outing for both teams this season. Because LCSC is an NAIA school and the Grizzlies are an NCAA Division I school, the contest is an exhibition and will not count on the teams’ overall record.
The Warriors played well defensively for most of the evening and held Montana to just 36 percent shooting in the opening half. The Grizzlies opened up a 15-6 lead early, but LCSC cut the margin to two points twice before UM went in at halftime with a 25-19 lead.
In the second half, the Warriors struck first when senior guard Jared Giammona hit a jumper to cut the lead to 25-21 at the 18:52 mark. LCSC, however, would commit 12 turnovers and go 0-for-10 from the field over the next 12:56 while Montana scored 31 straight points for a 56-21 lead. Donte Roberts hit a jumper for LCSC at the 5:56 mark to finally stop the bleeding.
The Warriors warmed up and scored 18 points in the final six minutes, almost matching their total from the field 34 minutes.
For the game, LCSC finished 12-of-50 from the field for 24 percent, including 3-of-17 at the 3-point line, 17.6 percent. The Warriors did hit 12-of-13 free throws.
The Grizzlies warmed up in the second half and finished the game 23-of-54 for 42.6 percent and 6-of-19 from the 3-point line. The Griz, however, were just 7-of-18 at the foul line.
Roberts, Giammona, and Devon Adams all finished with eight points apiece for LCSC. Giammona was 3-for-5 from the field with a pair of 3-pointers, while Adams was 4-of-6. Excluding the three players with eight points, the remainder of the LCSC squad was 2-of-28 from the field.
Alex King finished with eight rebounds to lead the Warriors, while Jeray Key had three assists.
Montana’s Brian Qvale finished with 12 points and 13 rebounds, both game highs, and also blocked four shots. Montana had a 42-33 rebounding edge, and also forced 21 turnovers. LCSC’s defense forced 19 turnovers.
The contest is the first of three straight exhibition games against NCAA schools. LCSC will play Washington State Friday night in Pullman at 6 p.m., and then meet the University of Idaho Saturday in Moscow at 7:05 p.m.
The Warriors kick off the season on Tuesday against Portland Bible College in Portland at 7:15 p.m.