Warriors use smothering defense in 60-31 win
LEWISTON, Idaho – With 10 blocks and by forcing 32 turnovers, the Lewis-Clark State College women’s basketball team hustled to a 60-31 win as it suffocated the offense of Lewis & Clark College in day one of the Staples Classic on Friday.
The Warriors’ defense collected 13 steals and contested just about every shot Lewis & Clark tried to put up as the Pioneers shot only 18 percent from the field. Keeping Lewis & Clark ineffective from inside was LCSC freshman Alyssa Fierro who finished the game with six blocks.
“She jumps so quick,” said LCSC Coach Brian Orr when asked about Fierro’s blocking ability. “The fact that she’s 6-2 helps, but she has great timing,” said Orr. “Even on the shots she doesn’t block, she forces the shooter to take a different shot.”
LCSC led 28-14 at halftime and never let up on defense against the NCAA Division III Pioneers who are now 0-2 on the season. Offensively, however, the Warriors did not seem to find as sweet of a groove.
“I am really proud of our defensive effort, but offensively we are still a long ways away,” said Orr who has led the Warriors to three consecutive Frontier Conference championships. “We need to be more aggressive in taking the ball to the basket.”
Nikki DePeel, a junior, led the Warriors in scoring for the first time this season as she finished with 12 points. DePeel was the only Warrior to score in double digits.
Senior Sadie Short added nine points and a team leading seven rebounds, while every other Warrior scored at least two points or more.
Besides her six swats, Fierro collected five points, five rebounds, and three steals, while Kenna Reiter had a team high six assists.
The Pioneers were led by Neva Hauser’s seven points and nine rebounds, as Lewis & Clark finished 9-of-50 from the field.
With the win, LCSC improves to 3-3 on the season and now prepares to take on Warner University at 3 p.m. on Saturday in day two of the Staples Classic. LCSC’s game on Saturday will be preceded by 1 p.m. game between Montana Tech and Lewis & Clark.
Warner, out of Lake Wales, Florida, fell to Montana Tech 74-66 on Friday, but—despite being down 41-31 at halftime—did play strong enough to hold a six point lead with seven minutes left in the second half.
Montana Tech was led by Jessie DePell who finished with 27 points and seven rebounds, and Jenessa Tod who had a double-double of 18 points and 11 rebounds. Warner, led by Beebe Soberal’s 22 points and four steals, forced 19 Montana Tech turnovers.
“They [Warner] have balance and depth, and we saw today that they have fight too,” said Orr. “We need to be able to handle their pressure and we need to be solid defensively again.”