Warriors capture fourth straight FC Tournament title with 65-47 win over Carroll
LEWISTON, Idaho – Junior Jasmine Stohr capped off a memorable evening by scoring a game-high 24 points to help the Lewis-Clark State College women’s basketball team win its fourth straight Frontier Conference Tournament title with a 65-47 win over Carroll College at the LCSC Activity Center on Monday night.
Stohr, a 6-foot guard/forward, carried the Warriors early in the defensive struggle and helped the team make 14-of-15 free throws in the second half to preserve the win, which gave the Warriors the automatic berth to the 32-team NAIA national tournament in Jackson, Tenn., later this month. The 32-team field and first-round pairings will be announced Wednesday.
LCSC, ranked No. 10 in the NAIA, will take a 28-4 record to nationals, which kick off play on March 16. Carroll, the No. 5 seed in the conference tournament, is 21-12 on the season and has an outside chance of qualifying for nationals as an at-large team. Westminster, the FC regular season champion and ranked No. 9 in the NAIA, should receive an at-large berth.
Just before Monday’s tipoff, it was announced that Stohr was named the conference’s co-MVP this season and was selected to the all-conference first team for the third straight year.
While Stohr was doing her thing on the offensive end, the Warrior defense seldom gave Carroll room to breathe. After Carroll guard Alysha Green, the hero of the Saints’ semifinal win over Westminster with a last-second shot, hit three 3-pointers early in the game, the Warriors clamped down and held the Saints to just 25.5 percent shooting from the field (13-of-51).
Carroll matched LCSC’s defense in the first half as points were hard to come by. With Green’s three 3s, the Saints were able to gain a 13-8 advantage, but the Warriors rallied to take a 25-23 lead at halftime as Stohr had nine points and was the only Warrior with more than four.
In the second half, LCSC shot 50 percent from the field (12-of-24), while Carroll made only 5-of-25 shots (20 percent).
“It was a tale of two halves,” LCSC coach Brian Orr said. “In the first half, we couldn’t buy a bucket. In the second half, we executed and when the ball goes in, life is good. We had a lot of players step up tonight.”
The Warriors finally broke away midway through the second half when a 16-5 run turned a 36-35 lead at the 11:04 mark into 52-40 advantage with a little more than five minutes remaining. Tasha Bishop hit a key 3-pointer during the run, while Kenna Reiter added a steal and layin. Kirsi Voshell scored seven points during the run, while freshman Loree Hill added four.
Carroll couldn’t get closer than nine points the rest of the way and the Warriors made their free throws down the stretch to finish with an 11-3 run. Unlike the three previous seasons when LCSC won the tournament on the road, this title came in front of an appreciative and loud crowd of 1,255.
“Toward the end of the game you could look up in the stands at the crowd and they were so happy,” Stohr said. “It’s kind of hard to explain but the chills it gives you standing with 11 other girls. I had people come up to me after the game who were crying. This is why it doesn’t matter when it hurts from running drills before the season. This is what it is all about.”
Stohr finished the game 11-of-13 at the foul line, which gives her 150 free throws made this season, a school record. She also took over the fifth spot on the all-time free-throw made list with 330. She’s also attempted 197 free throws this season, just three short of tying the single-season school record.
LCSC finished the game 19-of-22 at the foul line for 86.4 percent, one of its best nights this season at the line. The Warriors also held scoring advantages of 16-3 in points off of turnovers, 24-6 points in the paint, and 11-4 second-chance points from offensive rebounds.
Reiter and Voshell, who joined Stohr on the all-conference first team, finished with 12 and 11 points respectively. Reiter, who was also selected the conference’s Defensive Player of the Year, added four steals, three assists, and four rebounds, while Voshell had nine rebounds and two blocked shots.
Green, who also was a first-team all-conference selection, led Carroll with 14 points and seven rebounds, but she finished the game 4-of-14 from the field. Jessica Van Dyke added nine points and nine boards.
This was LCSC’s 10th appearance in the conference tournament title game in the 12 years the Warriors have belonged to the conference, including its fifth straight. LCSC is now 5-5 in title contest with victories in the last four.