LEWISTON, Idaho – PJ Bolte scored seven of his game-high 17 points in overtime and Jeray Key added two key offensive putbacks to help the Lewis-Clark State College men’s basketball team defeat Montana Tech 73-69 at the LCSC Activity Center on Thursday night.
The overtime victory gave LCSC a season-sweep in the series and also helped the Warriors snap a three-game losing streak. The Warriors are now 14-8 on the season and 3-5 in conference play. Montana Tech falls to 10-9 and into last place in the conference standings at 2-6.
The Warriors race out to a 13-4 lead, but needed a deep 3-pointer by Spencer Drury at the buzzer for a 30-29 advantage at intermission. The contest was then back-and-forth in the second half with neither team leading by more than four points.
Late in the game, a pair of running floaters by guard Donte Archie gave LCSC a 61-59 lead. Key then hit one of two free throws with 52.7 seconds left to push the margin to 62-59.
Tech’s Brian Cummings answered with a 3-pointer to tie the game and then got the ball back with 11 seconds left when LCSC was called for a five-second count while trying to run down the clock for the last shot. The Orediggers ran the clock down bit Tyree Haynie was unable to convert on a drive to the basket and the contest went into overtime.
In the extra five minutes, Bolte hit a jumper and Key scored on an offensive rebounds to put LCSC ahead 66-64. Cummings, however, scored on a three-point play to give Tech its final lead at 67-66.
Bolte put the Warriors in front with a jumper and then added two free throws, a nemesis of LCSC on the night, for a 70-67 lead. After Tech countered with a pair of free throws, Key scored on his second offensive rebound with 1:58 remaining and a 72-69 lead.
After both teams missed shots, LCSC’s Darin Stewart came up with a key steal with 58 seconds left, but then missed a 3-point attempt with 20 seconds remaining. Tech got the rebound and tried a 3-pointer to tie it, but missed, and Bolte was fouled after grabbing the rebounds. Bolte then made 1-of-2 free throws with seven seconds left for the final.
Along with his game-high total, Bolte also had seven rebounds and a steal. Archie added 16 points and three assists, while Key had 10 points, six assists, five rebounds, and a steal.
“For all of his struggles on offense, Jeray certainly made up for it on the defensive end,” LCSC coach Brandon Rinta said. “He did an excellent job defensively tonight. At times we had him even guarding their center.”
Danny Marshall added seven points and a game-high nine rebounds for LCSC.
LCSC finished the game 25-of-59 from the field for 42.4 percent and 6-of-24 from the 3-point line for 25 percent. The Warriors were 17-of-27 at the foul line, but only 4-of-9 in the first half.
Tech finished 23-of-55 from the field for 41.8 percent, and 3-of-13 at the 3-point line for 23.1 percent. The Orediggers did hit 20-of-24 free throws.
AJ Paine led Montana Tech with 14 points and five rebounds.
The Warriors return to action Saturday night when they play host to Montana Western, which is now in second place in the league standings after falling out of a first-place tie with a loss to Westminster in overtime on Thursday. Saturday’s contest is at 7:30 p.m. at the LCSC Activity Center.