Warriors fall in 2 OTs to Pioneers
PORTAND – Trying for the best start to a season in the last eight years, the Lewis-Clark State College men’s basketball team came up short in an 84-80 double overtime loss to Lewis & Clark University on Saturday night.
The loss snapped a five-game win streak for the Warriors, who now stand at 11-3 overall. The loss also ended the program’s best start since the 2003-04 Warrior squad went 18-2 to start the season.
The loss also gave the Warriors a split during the Portland road trip. On Friday night, LCSC defeated Portland Bible College 93-64.
The setback also overshadowed a career night for 6-foot-6 junior forward PJ Bolte of Tacoma. He scored a season-high 36 points, grabbed 12 rebounds, and also blocked four shots in the contest. Bolte, who had LCSC’s previous season-high in points with 25 against Concordia, finished 13-of-25 from the field and 10-of-14 at the foul line. He also had one assist.
For Lewis & Clark, the thrilling win was only the team’s second victory in its last seven games. The Pioneers are now 5-6 overall and avenged a 73-58 loss to the Warriors in Lewiston two weeks ago. That game happened to be the last action for the Pioneers until Saturday night.
The Warriors seed to have the upper hand early in both halves. LCSC led for most of the first half, although the contest was tied eight times. The Pioneers rallied to gain the upper hand before Kate Schmidt’s 3-pointer with four seconds remaining gave LCSC a 35-34 edge at halftime.
LCSC came out strong in the second half and built the lead to as much as 10 as 51-41 with 14:55 left, but Lewis & Clark again rallied.
James Hollins made one of two free throws with 56 seconds left to tied the score at 66. That turned out to be the last points in regulation as both teams missed shots that could have won the game.
In the first overtime, LCSC opened up a four-point lead twice, but after PJ Bolte’s jumper with 2:49 left put LCSC ahead 72-68, the Warriors didn’t score again in the extra five minutes.
Again, both teams had plenty of opportunities to win the game. Scott Pisapia tied it for the Pioneers on a pair of free throws with 1:24 left, but neither team could score despite each having two possessions.
In the second overtime, the contest was tied for the 13th time before Lewis & Clark ran off five straight points. Donte Archie’s 3-pointer with 10 seconds left cut the Pioneers’ lead to 82-80, but Hollins made a pair of free throws with nine seconds left to seal the game.
"Unfortunately down the stretch they just made one or two more plays than we did," LCSC coach Brandon Rinta said. "We had too many turnovers. In the first half we were solid, but as the game wore on, we turned the ball over too much. And we gave up 21 offensive rebounds and were outrebounded 50-42. That was the difference in the ballgame."
Darin Stewart joined Bolte in double figures for the Warriors with 11 points.
LCSC finished the game 27-of-65 from the field for 41.5 percent and 21-of-30 at the foul line for 70 percent. Lewis & Clark was 26-of-72 for 36.1 percent and 27-of-34 at the line for 79.4 percent. Both teams made just five 3-pointers in the game and the Pioneers had a 50-42 rebounding edge.
LCSC kicks off Frontier Conference play on the road next Friday and Saturday. On Friday, LCSC is in Dillon, Mont., to face Montana Western. The Warriors then travel to Butte to face Montana Tech on Saturday. Tipoff for both contests is at 6:30 p.m. PST.