PULLMAN, Wash. – A 10-minute scoreless stretch in the first half did not help the Lewis-Clark State College men’s basketball team’s attempt to keep up with Washington State University in an exhibition game on Saturday night. The Warriors fell to the NCAA Division I Cougars 88-41 at Beasley Coliseum.
“We came out and the first four minutes we were fine,” said LCSC head coach Brandon Rinta. “We were showing patience on offense, we knocked down a few shots, and made a few stops. Then we just ran into a brick wall and couldn’t find the basket.”
The Warriors actually led 8-6 about four minutes into the game thanks to a jumper by Jeray Key, but then failed to score again until there was six minutes left in the half. The Cougars built a lead of 25-8 during this time.
“How you shoot it on the offensive end, unfortunately, affects you on the defensive end. When you can’t make shots it just saps some of the energy out of you defensively.”
The Cougars, led by 21 points from freshman guard DaVonte Lacy, used a 59.6 percent shooting clip to push the lead to 41-15 at halftime and to its widest margin of 50, 83-33, with four minutes left in regulation.
Lewis-Clark State shot 30.2 percent from the field on the night and had no luxury of second chance points. The Warriors were held to just three offensive rebounds, compared to WSU’s 13, and were outrebounded 43-17 overall.
Nick Fromm, going 4-for-4 from the field, led the Warriors with eight points, Donte Archie added seven, and Spencer Drury and Darin Stewart had six apiece. Two of Archie’s points came on a steal and breakaway dunk late in the second half.
After committing 24 turnovers in a 64-52 exhibition loss to the University of Montana on Friday, Rinta was somewhat pleased that his team was able to hold its turnover total to 14 against WSU.
“I was fairly happy with how well we took care of the basketball. We kind of found a way to solve the turnovers bug we had two nights ago. But the one thing I was disappointed in was our rebounding. We did not box out well.”
Only four Warriors finished with more than one rebound. Stewart, a 6-foot-3 guard, led the team with four.
Drury hit 2-of-6 attempts from the outside, however, the Warriors made just 5-of-28 attempts on the night (17.9 percent). The Cougars, led by a 4-for-6 effort by Mike Ladd, finished 11-of-22 from 3-point territory.
The Warriors will play their first official regular season game on Monday in College Place, Wash., against Walla Walla University. The game is set for 7 p.m.
“We learned a lot about ourselves in our scrimmage and two exhibition games,” said Rinta. “Regardless of the outcome tonight I think that we’re ready to start playing counters.”