Warriors battle back, but fall 93-89 in overtime
HAVRE, Mont. – In a wild game that had last minute heroics, standout performances, and a whole lot of free throws, the Lewis-Clark State College women’s basketball team overcame a 22-point second-half deficit to take Montana State University-Northern into overtime on Saturday night. However, in the end, a fatigued Warrior roster, which finished the game with only five remaining players, was defeated by the Skylights 93-89.
In the game, Northern scored 41 of its 93 points at the foul line as Lewis-Clark State used many of its fouls to control the clock and claw its way back into the game in the second half.
Although down 63-41 around the nine minute mark in the second half, LCSC, using full court pressure, chipped at Northern’s lead and brought the scored to 68-55 with 3:57 left on the clock. Moments later Kim Preston hit a three to drop the deficit to 69-60.
A Nikki DePeel layup and Northern free throws moved the game to 74-62 with 1:56 left on the clock before Sadie Short hit nothing but net for two points and Kenna Reiter came away with a steal and found an open DePeel for two more to bring the Warriors within eight.
After two more free throws made by Northern and one free throw for the Warriors the score was 76-68 when Preston silenced the crowd with another 3-pointer with only 52 seconds on the clock. After the shot, Reiter committed her fifth foul and sent Northern to the free throw line again.
Northern guard Taylor Keller’s first shot went off the front of the rim, but her second free throw rolled in to make it 77-71. The Warriors then brought the ball up the court and, after a 3-point attempt by Alyssa Fierro bounced off the rim, received an offensive rebound from Jasmine Stohr. Stohr kicked it back outside to DePeel, and DePeel hit a three to make it 77-74. Moments later Fierro came away with a steal, found Preston, and Preston buried another 3-pointer to tie the game with just 23 seconds remaining.
Then, with 15 seconds left, the Warriors forced a turnover and Preston hoisted another shot from outside only to see the ball bounce off the back of the rim. Moments later, with just seconds left on the clock, a baseball pass to midcourt and a drive and layup from Samm Schermele gave Northern a 79-77 lead. At this point, because a Skylight player ran off the bench and onto the floor in celebration, a technical foul was called on MSU-Northern for having six players on the court. This brought the Warriors to the line for a chance to tie it up.
DePeel, who had the headlining performance in Friday’s win over Great Falls, came through in the clutch for the Warriors and aced both free throws to force the game into overtime.
In overtime, the Warriors had two players foul out in the first two minutes and fell behind early. LCSC, playing on limited rest and with only six players, tied the game at 84-84 via a 3-pointer from DePeel with around two minutes left. However, LCSC was never able to gain a lead as Northern’s Stacie Barker responded with five points in the closing minutes. Barker proved to be one of the biggest factors in the game.
MSU-Northern’s strategy seemed pretty straight forward—keep the pace of the game slow to limit the number of Warrior possessions, and pass the ball to 6-foot-3 center Stacie Barker. Barker, a senior and last year’s Frontier Conference Defensive Player of the Year, finished the game with game-highs of 27 points, 21 rebounds, and eight blocks. The Warriors had trouble containing her on defense, and even bigger trouble getting around her on offense. Barker leads the conference with close to 11 rebounds and over five blocks per game.
For the second straight game, DePeel led the Warriors in scoring and came up huge for LCSC down the stretch. DePeel dropped in 19 points—all of them in the second half. Preston hit five 3-pointers to finished with 16 points, Fierro had 13 points and 10 rebounds, and Short and Stohr both had 12 points and five rebounds. Short also had five assists, and DePeel and Reiter had four steals each.
Besides Barker who was 13-for-16 at the line, Keller had 17 points for MSUN with 14 of them coming at the free throw line. Schermele and Kaylee Shaw finished with 12 and 11 points, respectively.
Overall, Lewis-Clark State shot 31-for-80 (38.8 percent) from the field, forced 22 turnovers while committing 11 turnovers, and was outrebounded by the Skylights 49-37. MSUN went 24-for-50 (48 percent) from the field.
Four of LCSC’s nine players fouled out (Short, Stohr, DePeel, and Reiter)—one during regulation and three during overtime.
The loss brings LCSC to 11-4 overall and 1-1 in conference, and moves the Skylights to 9-8 overall and 1-1 in conference.