ASHLAND, Ore. – Propelled by a season-high shooting percentage of 62.5, the Lewis-Clark State College men’s basketball team blew by Oregon Tech 82-65 at the Flagship Inn Tournament on Friday. The win keeps the Warriors perfect at 8-0.
Despite the shooting performance, LCSC head coach Brandon Rinta first pointed to his team’s defensive effort as being a key to the game.
“Our guys had good energy and did a good job of pressuring the basketball,” said Rinta. “We were able to force some turnovers, and most of our transition baskets were off of turnovers.”
The Warriors ended up with 12 steals and were able to force Oregon Tech, last year’s NAIA Division II National Champion, into 23 turnovers. And LCSC certainly did not squander these extra possessions.
“Offensively we did a great job of sharing the basketball, and it was just one of those nights where shots were going in.”
Lewis-Clark State, off to its best start in program history, shot an outstanding 74.1 percent in the first half and cooled to a red-hot 51.7 percent in the second. Overall, the Warriors hit 35-of-56 attempts to outdo Oregon Tech’s solid 43.4 percent effort from the field.
Senior PJ Bolte scored 24 points to lead a group of four Warriors who reached double-digits. Joseph Moquino was 2-for-2 from the outside and ended up with 14 points, while Donte Archie and Danny Marshall had 12 points apiece.
“PJ and Danny did a good job inside, and Joseph and Donte got us going from the outside.”
Moquino hit a 3-pointer to open the game, Marshall added a thunderous dunk a couple plays later, and the Warriors never looked back as they led from start to finish and by as many as 33 points in the second half.
Archie and Robert Ellis topped the team with six assists apiece. Moquino added four steals, and Archie added three.
David Clarke was 4-of-8 from the outside to lead the Owls (6-3) with 17 points. Derek Evans and Austen Flint had nine points apiece.
“It was a good win for us,” said Rinta. “We played well tonight and hopefully we can put back-to-back nights together because tomorrow will be a tough game against Southern Oregon.”
The Warriors will tipoff against the Raiders (5-2) on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in Ashland. Last year the Warriors fell to Southern Oregon during a home tournament on a buzzer-beater.