Warriors battle for 69-61 win; hit 20-win milestone
LEWISTON, Idaho – On Saturday afternoon the Lewis-Clark State College women’s basketball team won its twentieth game of the season to extend LCSC’s record to 17 straight seasons with 20 or more wins. The Warriors defeated the formidable Rocky Mountain College Bears 69-61 at the Activity Center.
Lewis-Clark State College fell to Rocky 69-63 during the first half of the Frontier Conference schedule, but came out poised and ready to return the favor against the Bears on Saturday.
In the first half, LCSC showed off its passing ability and quickness to push the tempo of the game and keep Rocky Mountain’s penetration offense out of rhythm. At the half, behind 63-percent shooting from the field, the Warriors boasted a 42-27 lead.
Like the good team they are, however, the Bears stormed back in the second half to tie the game 51-51 with 9:59 left on the clock. To this the Warriors answered with a team effort that featured hustle plays, good outlet passes, and a will to win that has been the trademark of the program for two decades.
The 1991-92 season in which they went 16-10 was the last time the Warriors failed to win at least 20 games, and in the past eight years under head coach Brian Orr the Warriors have gone 197-63 for an incredible .758 winning percentage. Lewis-Clark State College has also won five conference championships since 2000, and the win against Rocky almost solidifies a No. 2 ranking going into the conference tournament.
Both Rocky and LCSC teams did a good job of boxing out and collecting defensive rebounds on Saturday. As a result, Lewis-Clark State scored just six points off of offensive rebounds and allowed Rocky only two second chance points in the game.
LCSC had big rebounding contributions from Sadie Short and Alyssa Fierro who both had to contend in the paint with the 6-foot-4 Janie Rayback.
Short finished with a double-double of 19 points and 10 rebounds (all defensive), while Fierro grabbed nine boards and also had two blocks. Short also had four assists and four steals.
Freshman Jasmine Stohr was the leading scorer for the Warriors as she finished with 22 points and five rebounds to offset Rayback’s 25 points and seven rebounds.
Dani Henderson was the Bear’s rebounding mainstay as she finished with 13.
Nikki DePeel also had a strong game for the Warriors as she scored 11 points including key free throws down the stretch. Kim Preston and Kenna Reiter were instrumental in LCSC’s ball movement as they collected five assists apiece.
On the night, LCSC shot 44.4 percent from the field and 37.5 percent from 3-point territory. Rocky shot 36.2 percent from the field and 25 percent from long range.
With the win the Warriors have now won six straight and hold a 10-3 and 20-6 record in the conference and overall, respectively. Rocky Mountain is now at 7-5 and 13-14.
As suspected, the young Lewis-Clark State College women’s basketball team seems to be getting better and better as the year goes on. With its active roster composed of four freshman, two sophomores, one junior, and only two seniors, the Warriors have worked to find their strengths, weakness, and team identity as the season has progressed—and now the work seems to be paying off.
In the first half of the Frontier Conference schedule the Warriors went 4-3. So far, in the second half the Warriors are 6-0 as they have been able to overcome two teams that they fell to in the first half (MSU-Northern and Rocky). A final test for the Warriors, before post season play, will come against Westminster College next Saturday inside the LCSC Activity Center. Westminster holds a perfect 13-0 conference mark and defeated LCSC 101-70 in Salt Lake City a month ago.