ASHLAND, Ore. – The Lewis-Clark State College women’s basketball team cut an 11-point Oregon Tech lead to two in less than two minutes late in the game on Saturday, but the Warriors could not get a potential game-winning 3-pointer to go as the Owls held on for a 68-65 victory.
It was LCSC’s second of three games at the Flagship Inn Classic, hosted by Southern Oregon. The Warriors (0-8) battle Simpson University Sunday at noon and are still in search of their first victory of the season.
Oregon Tech improved to 6-2 on the young season with the victory.
The Owls led for most of the second half after a back-and-fort opening period, and appeared poised to cruise to the victory with an 11-point advantage – their largest of the game – with 4:13 left on the clock.
But the Warriors suddenly breathed life into their comeback chances by hitting 3-pointers on three consecutive possessions to cut the Owls’ advantage to just two with 2:20 left in the game.
Annie Kane, who finished with 13 points in the game, sank the first of the three triples with 3:48 left, and after Oregon Tech traveled, the senior from Lapwai, shooting 52.6 percent from beyond the arc entering the game, drilled another.
Ahead 65-60 with 2:59 left, Oregon Tech missed a point-blank layup that allowed the Warriors to race back on offense. The Owls double-teamed Kane, but the heady senior slipped a pass to Loree Hill, who promptly canned a 3-pointer to make the score 65-63 with 2:20 on the clock.
Oregon Tech’s Kassi Conditt, who missed the earlier layup that allowed Hill to make it a one-possession game, rebounded to hit a soft jumper in the lane with 2:03 left to extend the Owls’ lead to four. After a missed 3-pointer by the Owls, McKenzie Heaslet got a putback to go with 30 ticks left on the block to make it 67-65.
The Owls inbounded the ball, and Tess Armstrong was fouled by Hannah Byerly with 12 seconds to go. Armstrong missed her first attempt from the line, but made the second, leaving the Warriors with an opportunity to force overtime.
Kane had a good look at a 3-pointer with six seconds left, but it caromed off the iron. The long rebound came all the way out to the top of the key, and players from both teams were still fighting for it when time expired.
Junior Ornela Bacchini had 18 points to lead the Warriors, 10 of which came before halftime. Bacchini made 8-of-9 free throw attempts on Saturday.
Shelby Barnes tacked on 11 points for LCSC, and Heaslet added seven points and nine rebounds.
Oregon Tech’s Karissa Dixon led all scorers with 21 points and had the defensive assignment on Kane for much of the evening.