BILLINGS, Mont. – After trailing by 11 at halftime, the Lewis-Clark State College women’s basketball team cut the deficit to three with less than two minutes remaining on the road against Rocky Mountain College on Saturday night. But the Warriors were unable to hit the big shots in the closing moments and fell by a final score of 65-58.
“We played well in the second half, but just couldn’t get enough stops,” LCSC head coach Brian Orr said. “We dug a deep hole, and I was really proud of how we fought back.”
Rocky’s lead lingered around 10 points for the bulk of the second half, but back-to-back buckets by Tanis Fuller followed by a couple free throws from Shelby Barnes cut the lead to 61-56 with 2:20 on the clock. One possession later, Barnes hit an open jumper on a good pass from Annie Kane to trim the lead to 61-58 with 1:44 remaining.
In the final minute, LCSC missed three 3-point attempts.
“That’s what has really hurt us—our inability to hit the key shots,” said Orr. “We just need to have someone step up and do it.”
The loss moves LCSC to 1-4 in the Frontier Conference and 4-15 overall, while Rocky Mountain improves to 3-2 in league play and 6-9 overall.
The Warriors have lost six games this season by five points or less and Saturday’s game would have finished just as close if not for the free throws Rocky made in the final minute as LCSC tried to slow the clock.
Aided by a 20-11 advantage in offensive rebounds, Rocky Mountain built a 31-20 lead by halftime. The Bears had a 47-28 lead in rebounds overall.
“That was the difference in the game.”
Brittany Myers, a junior forward, was responsible for much of Rocky Mountain’s success inside as she had a double-double of 18 points and 13 boards. Nine of her rebounds came on the offensive end.
Lewis-Clark State was led in scoring by Kane who finished with 14. Barnes had 10 points, and Ornela Bacchini and Kelli Rice had nine apiece.
Fuller led the team with nine rebounds and also had four steals. Brittaney Niebergall had a game-high five assists.
The Warriors were without the services of forward Loree Hill who was sick this week and did not make the trip.
Rocky Mountain outshot the Warriors 42 percent to 37 percent.
Lewis-Clark State will play two more games on the road next week when they travel to Great Falls on Friday and MSU-Northern on Saturday.