LCSC downs Point Loma 69-54 in battle of NAIA Top 25 teams
Freshman Jasmine Stohr scored the first six points during 13-0 run early in the second half to help the Lewis-Clark State College women’s basketball team defeat Point Loma Nazarene 69-54 in a battle of the NAIA Top 25 teams at the Wells Fargo Invitational at the LCSC Activity Center on Friday night.
The Warriors, ranked No. 14 in the NAIA, won their sixth straight game by using the second-half run to erase a seven-point deficit and take the lead for good against the 11th-ranked Sea Lions, who fell to 3-4 overall.
LCSC trailed 28-27 at halftime and quickly fell behind 34-27 after the Sea Lions scored on their first three possessions of the second half.
Stohr, who scored all of her 13 points in the second half, responded with two buckets off of Point Loma turnovers and also scored on an offensive rebound to cut the margin to 34-33. LCSC then scored the next seven points, including three from freshman post Alyssa Fierro to take a 40-34 lead.
Point Loma twice managed to cut the lead to one point, the last at 47-46, but LCSC responded with a 12-2 run as Stohr scored four more points.
The contest was a defensive struggle early as full-court pressure by both squads produced turnovers and some fastbreak opportunities. Both teams finished with 19 turnovers and Point Loma was able to collect 14 steals. LCSC, however, was able to solve its turnover problems with successful attacks at the basket, while Point Loma struggled against LCSC’s half-court defense.
LCSC shot 50 percent from the field in the second half (13-of-26) after hitting only 35.5 percent in the first half (11-of-31). In turn Point Loma hit 47.8 percent in the opening 20 minutes (11-of-23), but struggled in the second half with a 31.4 percent performance (11-of-35).
“That was a tale of two halves for us,” LCSC coach Brian Orr said. “ To be a successful team you have to get stops and our man-to-man defense did a great job tonight.”
The Warriors were particularly effective in stopping Point Loma’s outside game. The Sea Lions finished 0-of-13 from the 3-point arc.
“We talked about one of the most important things for us to do in this game was to challenge their 3-point shooters,” Orr said. “It was truly a team effort tonight.”
The Warrior freshmen posts also did a nice job of holding Point Loma’s 6-foot-2 junior post Colleen Planeta in check. Planeta entered the game as the NAIA’s top score at 24.7 points per game, but she had only 14 on Friday night to go along with eight rebounds, four blocks and three steals. But she also had seven turnovers.
“Our freshmen posts continue to get better every game,” Orr said.
LCSC senior Sadie Short tied Planeta for game-high honors with 14 points and also added 10 rebounds for a double-double. Fierro added 13 points, while Kim Preston had nine to go with four assists.
Amanda Franz also was in double figures for Point Loma with 12 points.
In the first game of the tournament on Friday, the University of Great Falls helped the Frontier Conference go 2-0 in the tourney against the Golden State Athletic Conference with a 66-61 win over Fresno Pacific.
Saturday’s pre-determined pairings has Great Falls, 3-7, against Point Loma at 4 p.m., followed by LCSC and Fresno Pacific, 5-4, at 6 p.m. Saturday’s contest is the final one in December for LCSC.