Defense paves the way in LC's 67-50 win
HELENA, Mont. – In case the Carroll College women’s basketball team didn’t get the message the first time, Lewis-Clark State sent another reminder of just how tough its defense can be.
Holding Carroll to one of its lowest point totals of the season for the second time in a month, the NAIA’s eighth-ranked Warriors rolled to a 67-50 Frontier Conference win over the Saints on Thursday night.
After defeating Carroll 65-51 at LCSC’s Warrior Gym in January, the Warriors were even more dominant on defense on the road Thursday night, despite running into some foul trouble. The 50 points is the fourth lowest total by Carroll this season, including second lowest at home, and 10 points under its season average.
The Warrior defense held Carroll to just 15-of-51 shooting from the field for 29.4 percent. LCSC is second in the NAIA in field goal percentage defense at 32.1 percent and also is 14th in fewest points allowed at 55 per game.
LCSC also forced Carroll into 16 turnovers.
“Our defense was tremendous,” Warrior coach Brian Orr said. “We contested everything. Nothing came easy for them.”
The win lifts LCSC to 8-2 in conference play and 22-3 overall, while Carroll falls to 3-6 and 10-12.
The Warriors appeared to be in control throughout. LCSC led 30-22 at halftime after holding the Saints to 30 percent shooting in the first half and Carroll never got closer than seven in the second half. The Saints finished 4-of-17 at the 3-point line for just 23.5 percent.
The only concern for LCSC was foul trouble in the tightly called game. Carroll was in the bonus seven minutes into the second half and LCSC, which has nine players on the roster, lost one to fouls while two others finished the game with four.
“We battled and scratched for everything,” Orr said. “We made baskets when we needed to. It was a great team win.”
Even with the fouls, Carroll was unable to take advantage. The Saints hit only 16-of-27 free throws for 59 percent. LCSC was 17-of-22 at the foul line for 77 percent, including 15-of-20 in the second half.
Offensively, the Warriors put four players in double figures. Senior guard Jasmine Stohr continued her strong comeback from a knee injury that forced her to miss three weeks. The All-American scored a game-high 20 points, including 11 in the second half. Stohr is now 26 points shy of 2,000 in her LCSC career.
Senior posts Alyssa Fierro and Kirsi Voshell added 13 and 12 points, respectively, while freshman Brittaney Niebergall also had 12 points, all coming in the second half. Niebergall also had five assists, while Fierro added eight rebounds and six blocked shots.
LCSC finished the game 23-of-52 from the field for 44 percent and were 4-of-11 at the 3-point line for 36 percent. LCSC also went 15-of-20 at the foul line in the second half and
LCSC will complete the road trip on Saturday when they take on Rocky Mountain in Billings, Mont., at 5:30 p.m. LCSC will then play Westminster in Salt Lake next week before it closes out the regular season at home against Montana State-Northern and Great Falls.
“Still we are controlling our destiny,” Orr said about the goal of a conference title. “If we come out and play with as much energy and play together, we should do well.”