LCSC advances to finals with 67-59 win
LEWISTON, Idaho – Junior All-American candidate Jasmine Stohr scored 14 of her game-high 24 points in the second half to help the Lewis-Clark State College women’s basketball team qualify for the championship game for the fourth year in a row with a 67-59 win over Montana Tech in the Frontier Conference Tournament at the LCSC Activity Center on Friday night.
The Warriors, ranked No. 10 in the NAIA, improved to 27-4 overall with the win and will play for their fourth straight tournament title on Monday night when they play host to Carroll College, 21-11. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. and the winner will earn an automatic berth to the 32-team NAIA National Tournament later this month in Jackson, Tenn.
Carroll, the No. 5 seed in the tournament, pulled off its second straight upset on Friday night by defeating No. 1 seed Westminster 65-64 in Salt Lake City. LCSC swept Carroll during the regular season, winning by 12 and 25 points.
Stohr, a 6-foot guard/forward, showed why she is the conference’s leading scorer with her ability to hit both jumps shots and drives to the basket in the second half as LCSC kept the Orediggers at bay. Friday’s contest marked the 12th time this season Stohr has scored at least 20 points in a game.
Stohr hit 8-of-15 shots from the field and also had five rebounds, three steals, two assists, and a blocked shot in the physical and defensive contest.
LCSC, the No. 2 seed in the tournament, led from start to finish, but just couldn’t put away the No. 3 seed Orediggers. The Warriors held Montana Tech to just two field goals during the first 10 minutes of the game to open up a 14-6 advantage. The lead eventually reached as much as 15 points, 28-13, but Tech was able to cut the margin to 31-21 at halftime.
In the second half, Stohr hit back-to-back shots to put LCSC up by 14. The Warriors’ largest lead of the half was 18, the last time at 47-29. Tech, however, rallied and cut the margin to 59-49 with 5:35 remaining. LCSC, however, turned up the defense again and built the lead back up to 14 at 67-53 before Tech scored the final six points of the game, including the final bucket with 11 seconds left.
“I thought we really guarded well,” LCSC coach Brian Orr said. “We had a hard time stopping (Taesha) Higbee, but we stopped all the players around her.”
Higbee finished with 23 points and nine rebounds, but no one else scored more than eight points for the Orediggers.
For the night, Tech hit 19-of-64 shots from the field for 29.7 percent, including 4-of-12 at the 3-point line for 33.3 percent.
“Overall it was a total team effort,” Orr said. “We went around the locker room after the game and we had so many players step up and make big plays.”
Junior post Alyssa Fierro finished with a double-double as she had 11 points and 10 rebounds. She also blocked three shots. Kirsi Voshell finished with seven points and 10 boards, while Kenna Reiter and Lauren Daling added eight points.
LCSC finished the game 27-of-59 from the field for 45.8 percent and 5-of-14 from the 3-point line for 35.7 percent. LCSC, however, was outrebounded 47-38 and gave up 22 offensive boards. Still, the Warrior defense forced 21 turnovers in the game and came up with 11 steals.
Despite playing in its fourth straight conference title game, this will be the first at the Activity Center. The conference tournament was held in Butte in 2008, and then on the home court of the highest seed remaining in the tournament, which was Westminster the past two seasons.
Ticket prices for the championship game, set by the Frontier Conference, are $10 reserved, $8 for general admission, and $6 for students and senior citizens. Tickets will be sold at the LCSC ticket office, located upstairs in the Activity Center, at 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on Monday, and at the ticket booth prior to the game.