Bolte powers Warriors to 73-58 win over Pioneers
LEWISTON, Idaho – PJ Bolte scored 18 points and collected seven rebounds to help push the Lewis-Clark State College men’s basketball team to a win over Lewis & Clark College on the final day of the LCSC Invitational Tournament on Saturday. The Warriors took down the Pioneers 73-58 to improve to 8-2 on the year.
Being the final game of the two-day tournament, the Warrior-Pioneer matchup could have been consider as the grand finale of the event and it certainly played out that way as it was competitive and fast-paced from opening tip until the final buzzer.
The teams matched each other much point for point for the first 13 minutes of the game, but over the final seven minutes of the first half LCSC outscored the Pioneers14-5 to take a 33-24 lead into the locker room.
Bolte, a 6-foot-6 junior from Tacoma, Wash., came off the bench to lead the team with 13 points in the first half.
In the second half, it was Donte Archie, a 6-foot-3 junior from Los Angeles, Calif., who came off the bench and carried the scoring load. He had 11 points in the second half and finished with 14 points, six rebounds, and three assists in the game.
“PJ is the guy that got us going offensively—him and Donte,” said LCSC head coach Brandon Rinta. “They’ve really given us a spark coming off the bench, and given us another dimension. I feel like I need to start bringing them into games sooner and sooner.”
With a total of 35 points and 10 rebounds in two games, Bolte was named the tournament’s MVP. He was joined on the all-tournament team by teammate Danny Marshall, Ken Anderson and Melvin Williams of Great Falls, Ross Erickson of Lewis & Clark, and Gurminder Kang of Quest University.
LCSC and Great Falls were 2-0 during tournament play, while Lewis & Clark and Quest went 0-2.
Both the Warriors and Pioneers shot the ball fairly well on Saturday night; 41.5 percent and 40.7 percent, respectively; so the difference in the game came largely in LCSC’s rebounding ability. The Warriors had a 40-25 advantage in rebounds, include a pivotal 12-6 edge in offensive boards and a 13-4 lead in second chance points.
Along with rebounding well, Rinta was quick to praise the way his team played defense.
“Lewis & Clark is a very good 3-point shooting team, and we had to guard the outside hard and force them to throw it inside,” Rinta said. “They’ve got some really quick and athletic players, but we didn’t give them many open looks.”
The Pioneers hit 7-of-14 shots from 3-point territory, while LCSC was 7-of-18.
All around it was a strong effort for the Warriors, including at the foul line where the team knocked down 22-of-24 attempts.
Many of LCSC’s free throws came late in the game and helped keep the lead at double-digits down the stretch. The Warriors’ biggest lead of the night was 17 at the 4:27 mark of the second half.
Marshall was third on the team in scoring as he had 10 points and five rebounds. Spencer Drury added nine points and six assists, and Darin Stewart had eight points and four rebounds.
The Pioneers were led by Erickson who had 16 points and two rebounds. James Hollins and Donato Perconti added 13 and 11 points, respectively.
“Tonight was a good step for us—a good confidence builder. Lewis & Clark is a really good team.”