Defense guides Warrior comeback win over Orediggers
BUTTE, Mont. – The Lewis-Clark State College men’s basketball team overcame a very slow start and a 34-29 deficit at halftime to take down Montana Tech 66-59 on the road on Saturday night. The win lifts the team to 12-4 overall and 1-1 in Frontier Conference play.
“It was like we were standing in cement there for a while,” said LCSC head coach Brandon Rinta. “We came out slow and they were hitting shots. We got down, but I thought we showed some great toughness fighting back.”
The Warriors shot 1-of-12 from the field to start the game and this resulted in leads of 13-4 and 18-8 for Montana Tech. Around the eight minute mark LCSC’s offense finally started finding a rhythm, and back-to-back 3-pointers by Spencer Drury and Kale Schmidt brought the Warriors to within five at halftime.
“They’re a good team,” said Rinta. “They just beat the No. 10 team [Wesminster College] in the nation here last night. It was a battle.”
Thanks to a solid defense including Jeray Key’s ability to slow up Montana Tech’s Adam Greger, the Warriors slowly turned the tide in the battle and took their first lead at 40-39 on a shot in the paint by Ray Stout with 14:33 left in regulation.
From here the score remained tight until some big plays by the Warriors in the final two minutes sealed the deal.
“Down the stretch we just had guys step up and make plays.”
Rinta noted that Darin Stewart and Spencer Drury hit some big threes late in the game and was quick to give play of the game honors to Donte Archie.
With a six point lead and two minutes left on the clock, Archie was called for an offensive foul for charging. This gave the ball back to the Orediggers and kept a Tech comeback well within reach. On the ensuing play, however, Archie was able to return the favor and force the Orediggers to be called for charging. This foul erased what could have been two points from an easy layup on the inside.
On offense, PJ Bolte led a very balanced team attack with 19 points and seven rebounds. Archie had 13 points and seven boards, Stewart had 11 points and five rebounds, and Dury finished with nine points on 3-of-4 shooting from the outside.
Stewart was 3-of-6 from the outside as the team finished 8-of-18 (44.4 percent) from 3-point territory and 21-of-49 overall (42.9 percent). Montana Tech was 6-of-20 (30 percent) from the outside and 25-of-55 (45.5 percent) overall.
The Orediggers, now 9-4 overall and 1-1 in league play, were led by Greger who ended up with 14 points and four rebounds. Brian Cummings had 11 points, and Daniel Simon, who played for the Warriors during the 2008-09 season, had 10 points.
“It was great for us to pull out a road win in that fashion. We just were able to put it together on both ends of the floor when it counted.”