LEWISTON, Idaho – For the first time this season, the Lewis-Clark State College women’s basketball team had all five of its starting players score in double figures and the result was an impressive 20-point league win at the Activity Center on Thursday night. The Warriors defeated Dickinson State University (N.D.) 87-67.
The victory keeps the Warriors within reach of the Frontier Conference playoffs. LCSC stands at 4-8 in league play (7-19 overall), just a half game behind Rocky Mountain (5-8, 8-15) and Montana Western (5-8, 8-15) for the sixth and final playoff spot. The Warriors host Rocky Mountain at 5:30 p.m., Pacific, on Saturday.
“It’s a relief to get this win,” said LCSC head coach Brian Orr. “We’re still in the fight right now to get to that conference tournament.”
Thursday’s win was made possible by an ideal combination of solid shooting, good passing, and aggressive defense. The Warriors shot 44 percent from the field, had a season-high 19 assists, and forced the Blue Hawks (2-9, 7-18) into 18 turnovers.
“It was a total team effort tonight. When we can put five girls in double figures it’s always a good thing,” said Orr. “I was really happy with how we moved the ball against a zone. And, of course, we made shots. When you make shots life is good.”
The Warriors made four consecutive shots, including three 3-pointers, in an 11-0 run in the first half to push their lead from 16-13 to 27-13. They shot 7-for-10 from the outside in the first half and led 43-26 at the break.
LCSC had nine 3-pointers in the game, its second highest total this season.
“We put a lot of extra time into shooting the last couple of weeks,” Orr said. “I hope everyone understands that we have a young group, but they’re getting better. It’s been a tough tough season.”
The Warriors’ outside shooting cooled in the second half, and this allowed the Blue Hawks to take a one point advantage, 53-52, at the 12:47 mark. However, the Warriors responded by pushing the ball inside and quickly built the lead back to double digits.
Sophomore Tanis Fuller scored 11 points in or around the paint in the second half. Also, the team’s penetration got them to the foul line, where they hit 12-of-13 second-half attempts (18-of-21 on the night).
Senior Annie Kane, who was 4-of-7 from behind the arc, led the team with 21 points and a career-high 11 assists. Fuller had 14 points and a team-high eight rebounds, Ornela Bacchini had 11 points, and Loree Hill and Shelby Barnes had 10 points apiece.
Dickinson State, facing the Warriors for the first time in program history, had three players score in double digits. Janae Morre had 15 points and seven rebounds, Jess Bygate added 13 points and eight boards, and Jenna Cabello had 12 points.
LCSC finished with a 17-5 advantage in points off of turnovers.
Barnes, who suffered a hip pointer in practice on Wednesday, didn’t have a steal in the game but provided much needed defensive pressure throughout.
“We put her out pressuring the ball the whole first half, and she was able to create a little bit of disruption in their offensive flow. She gave us 100 percent tonight.”
The Warriors will again look to muster a 100 percent effort as they head into Saturday’s game against Rocky Mountain.
“Saturday night is a must win for the Warriors.”