Warriors thwarted by Thompson, Southern Oregon in final seconds
LEWISTON, Idaho – With less than five seconds on the clock Southern Oregon University’s Eric Thompson drained a jump shot from the top of the key to take the lead and hand the Lewis-Clark State College men’s basketball team its first loss on the season. The Raiders toppled the Warriors by a score of 73-72 in the final game of the LCSC Tournament on Saturday night.
With five seconds remaining in regulation and Southern Oregon inbounding the ball from the baseline after a timeout, the Warriors knew which Raider posed the biggest threat.
Nevertheless, Thompson, who had hit a 3-pointer just moments earlier, somehow got open and hit nothing but net from about a foot behind the free throw line.
The loss brings the Warriors to 2-1 overall and 1-1 in the tournament. Southern Oregon, an NAIA Division II program, went 1-1 in tournament play and is now 2-2 overall. MSU-Northern, ranked No. 15 in the NAIA, defeated Augustana 91-54 on Saturday to go 2-0, and Augustana finished 0-2.
Thompson, a 6-foot-7 freshman from Roseburg, Ore., was named the tournament’s MVP and probably would have taken home the honor even without his last second heroics. The forward had 30 points and nine rebounds against LCSC after turning in 31 points and five rebounds in a loss against MSU-Northern the night before.
With the pace that the Warriors started out at, it seemed very unlikely that the game would finish close, let alone finish with SOU ahead.
Lewis-Clark State used a 17-point run to break up a 6-6 tie and jumped to a 23-6 lead with 12:17 left in the first half. The Warriors then held the lead at around 15 until the Raiders went on a run and cut the lead to 40-32 at the break.
In the second half, a string of turnovers helped SOU cut the lead to 47-44 with just under 13 minutes left in regulation. From here the Warriors held a slight lead until Kyle Tedder hit a shot in the paint to make it 59-59 with 4:37 on the clock.
In the final three minutes the lead changed hands seven times.
Down by one, Jeray Key hit a layup to take the lead with two minutes on the clock, however, one minute later Thompson nailed a 3-pointer to put SOU back in front.
A couple of possessions later, and with less than 15 seconds on the clock, LCSC’s Spencer Drury drove and was fouled on the shot. The sophomore aced both free throws to give the Warriors their final lead of the game.
The overall numbers for both teams matched up fairly evenly. Southern Oregon had a 50 to 44.8 advantage in shooting percentage, and LCSC had a 33-32 edge in rebounds and a 11-10 edge in steals. Both teams had 10 second chance points, and both teams scored 18 points off of turnovers.
LCSC definitely could have benefited from a better shooting performance from the outside and at the foul line though. The Warriors hit just 4-of-17 attempts from 3-point territory (23.5 percent) and were 16-of-23 at the line (69.6).
Jeray Key led the Warriors with 13 points, five rebounds, and two assists. Nick Fromm, Joey Wayman, and Donte Archie all finished with 10 points apiece.
PJ Bolte led the team with seven rebounds to go with his six points, Darin Stewart led with four assists, and Archie led with four steals.
Besides Thompson, only two other Raiders scored in double-digits as Jordan Highland dropped in 13 points and five boards, and Kyle Tedder added 12 points and two assists.
The five all-tournament team members included LCSC’s Bolte and Key, Southern Oregon’s Highland, David Maddock of MSU-Nothern, and Shayn Bruney of Augustana.
Up next on LCSC’s schedule is a trip to Caldwell, Idaho, for two games. The Warriors will face the College of Idaho on Nov. 18 and then Evergreen State the following day.