LEWISTON, Idaho – The Lewis-Clark State College women’s basketball team has struggled to hit the big shot all season long, but on Saturday night at the Activity Center the Warriors hit one. Fighting to keep their postseason hopes alive, the Warriors were boosted by a late 3-pointer by Loree Hill (video) and overcame Rocky Mountain College 72-68.
The win improves the Warriors to 5-8 in league play (8-19 overall) and, most importantly, helps them leapfrog Rocky Mountain in the Frontier Conference standings. With two games left on the regular season schedule, LCSC now stands fifth in the standings and the top six teams (of nine) qualify for the conference tournament.
Hill’s shot came in the final minute and widened the Warriors’ narrow lead to 70-66. Annie Kane also had big basket for the Warriors when she nailed a trey to break a 54-54 tie at the 7:48 mark.
Kane, LCSC’s lone senior to be honored prior to the game as part of Senior Night, led the team with 18 points on 4-of-7 shooting from the outside and also had five assists. The product of Lapwai, Idaho, made a 3-pointer to open the game and continued with a number of key shots down the stretch.
“She’s a Warrior to the end,” LCSC head coach Brian Orr said. “We were blessed to have her for four years.”
Though the shots of Hill and Kane were important, neither of them would have made a difference were it not for a 19-5 run the Warriors went on to open the second half.
Lewis-Clark State trailed 35-27 at the break but open the second half shooting lights out, hitting seven of its first eight shots from the field. The scoring run, during which Kane hit back-to-back 3-pointers, handed the Warriors a 46-40 lead in just over five minutes into the half.
The game was tied twice after this point but Rocky (5-9, 8-16) never regained the lead.
Warrior sophomore Tanis Fuller had a very strong game as she collected 17 points and seven rebounds. Hill finished with 14 points on 3-of-7 shooting from the outside. The sophomore also nailed two free throws in the final minute to seal the win.
LCSC outshot Rocky 48 percent to 43 percent, while the Bears held a slim 34-32 edge in rebounds. Both teams passed well and finished with 20 assists apiece—a season-high for the Warriors.
Rocky was led by 5-foot-11 forward Taylor Hurst who had 27 points and eight rebounds. The junior was 4-for-5 from behind the arc and scored seven of the team’s first nine points to help build the Bears’ early lead.
By winning on Saturday night, the Warriors regain ownership of their postseason aspirations. They’ll close out the regular season on the road next week. They’ll play Montana Western on Friday and Carroll College on Saturday.
With a win over Montana Western LCSC will clinch a berth to the conference tournament.