LEWISTON, Idaho – The Lewis-Clark State College women’s basketball team was on the wrong side of last-minute heroics for the second night in a row at the Twin Rivers Physical Therapy Classic on Saturday. This time, New Hope Christian College’s Ellie Gould drove to the basket and drew a foul with 20 seconds left in regulation. She then drained both free throws to break the tie and hand the Deacons a 74-72 win over the Warriors.
The loss for Lewis-Clark State (0-6) comes one night after falling to Trevecca Nazarene University 60-58 in almost identical fashion. Both games offered LCSC the final possession, and both finished with the Warriors falling a bit short.
With 23 seconds left in Saturday’s game the Warriors inbounded the ball on the far end and the brought it past midcourt before calling a timeout with 18.6 seconds remaining. The Warriors then inbounded the ball from the sideline, but after a number of passes struggled to find an open player. Annie Kane ended up dribbling hard to her right and pulling up for a contested shot just inside the 3-point line. Her shot bounced off the front of the rim and into hands of Warrior McKenzie Heaslet. Heaslet hoisted a shot from under the basket with a second remaining but it ricocheted too hard off the backboard as the buzzer sounded.
The final seconds were an unfortunate ending for the Warriors who had battled back from a 13-point deficit just eight minutes earlier. Kane hit a couple 3-pointers and Ornela Bacchini came on strong down the stretch for the Warriors, but again the team just wasn’t able to hit the big shot when it needed it most.
“This is the lowest moment I think right now in the history of our program,” said LCSC head coach Brian Orr after the game. “We just have to roll up our sleeves and get back to work.”
Lewis-Clark State ends up going 0-2 during the two-day tournament, but a positive for the Warriors has to be that, after falling by wide margins in games earlier this year, they put themselves in a position to win both nights. Another positive is that a couple players seem to be stepping into and getting comfortable with leadership roles.
Bacchini, a junior from Buenos Aires, Argentina, led the team with 18 points and six rebounds. Kane, a senior from Lapwai, Idaho, who led the team with 22 points on Friday, finished with 13 points on 3-of-6 shooting from the outside. Both players represented LCSC on the All-Tournament team.
New Hope Christian, an NCCAA team out of Eugene, Ore., was led by a huge game from Lei Lolohea who had 17 points, 14 rebounds, and five assists. The junior post, who also took home All-Tournament team honors, was complemented by a strong night from guard Chelsea Dyson who had 17 points, six rebounds, five assists, and two steals.
The Deacons (3-7) enjoyed a 37-27 advantage in rebounds and also led 36-24 in points in the paint and 15-7 in second chance points.
New Hope was forced into 21 turnovers and this resulted in a 21-13 edge for the Warriors in points scored off of turnovers, nevertheless, the Deacon’s consistent attack on the inside forced LCSC to play catch up all game long.
The Warriors, outshot 56.3 percent to 43.9 percent, trailed 42-33 at halftime and by around 10 points for the first 14 minutes of the second half.
New Hope’s Deanna Tupai and Dorian Perkey also scored in double-digits, with 13 and 10 points respectively. Shelby Barnes was the only other Warriors with 10 or more points as she had 11 points to go with three assists and three steals. LCSC’s Tanis Fuller scored only four points, but added four rebounds, six assists, and three steals.
Next week the Warriors will hit the road to play in the Flagship Inn Classic in Ashland, Ore. They’ll face tournament host Southern Oregon on Friday and then Oregon Tech on Saturday.
Twin Rivers Physical Therapy Classic
Lei Lolohea, New Hope Christian
Chakala Carthen, College of Idaho
Ornela Bacchini, Lewis-Clark State
Annie Kane, Lewis-Clark State
Rachel Raby, Trevecca Nazarene
Christina Curtner, Trevecca Nazarene (MVP)