BILLINGS, Mont. – Senior Alyssa Fierro blocked a shot with just seconds remaining to help ensure that the Lewis-Clark State College women’s basketball team’s one-point lead would hold up on Saturday night. The Frontier Conference nail-biter ended with the Warriors on top 67-62.
“Next week’s game just became really big in terms of our league and the conference championship.”
The Warriors will play just one game next week and it will be an important one. They’ll travel to Salt Lake City to face Westminster College on Saturday. With a win they’ll tie the Griffins for first in the league standings.
Thanks to seven assists apiece by Stohr and Brittaney Niebergall, LCSC had a 19-10 lead in assists. The team also committed two fewer turnovers (15-13).
Outdone in shots made from both the 3-point and foul line, the Warriors stayed ahead of the Bears with a good inside game, strong defensive efforts, and good passing.
Blake, a junior forward, helped keep the Bears in the game by turning in a double-double of 19 points and 13 rebounds. Micki Scally was the only other Bear to score in double-digits as she had 15 points.
The Warriors outshot Rocky 41.7 percent to 35.3 percent overall and this helped them build a 29-25 lead by halftime and as much as a 10-point lead during the second half.
Jasmine Stohr and Tasha Bishop also reached double-digits in scoring as they had 17 and 11 points, respectively. Stohr is now just nine points away from reaching 2,000 in her career.
“Kirsi had a monster second half for us,” said Orr. “She made some incredible shots.”
Fellow senior Kirsi Voshell also had a very strong night as she finished with a game-high 21 points.
“I’ve never seen her rebound with so much intensity,” said Orr. “She was just jumping out of the gym.”
It was a career night for Fierro as she finished with a career-high, and team season-high, 19 rebounds on the night. The native of Bigfork, Mont., also had 15 points and two steals and was 5-of-6 at the foul line.
The victory improves LCSC to 9-2 in the conference and 23-3 overall, while Rocky Mountain falls to 6-4 and 17-8. Because Westminster topped Carroll 70-47 on Friday, LCSC still trails the Griffins by one game in the conference standings, however, the Warriors now lead third-place Rocky Mountain by three games.
Blake launched a three on the following possession but the ball bounced off the rim and was rebounded by Fierro. Fierro was again immediately fouled, and she was sent to the line where she nailed both shots to clinch the win.
Tasha Bishop then hit both of the double bonus free throws to make it a three-point game.
On the ensuing possession, Rocky brought the ball up the court and into the hands of Alli Blake. Blake hoisted up a shot around the 3-point line with 14 seconds left only to be stuffed by Fierro, who gathered the loose ball and was fouled immediately.
With less than a minute remaining and the score tied at 62-62, Fierro drew a foul and was sent to the line for two. She made the first and missed the second.
After trailing the entire second half, the Bears made it interesting against the No. 8-ranked Warriors with a 14-4 run down the stretch.
“We gutted out a win,” LCSC head coach Brian Orr said. “We had a hard time defending them, but at times we played really well and in the second half I thought we executed well offensively.”