LCSC women win showdown with Montana-Western
Holding University of Montana-Western scoreless for nearly nine minutes in the first half helped the Lewis-Clark State College women’s basketball team turn an early six-point deficit into a lead it never let go of to claim a 64-56 win in a key Frontier Conference showdown at the LCSC Activity Center on Thursday night.
LCSC, ranked No. 2 in this week’s NAIA poll, takes over sole possession of first place in the Frontier Conference standings with the win. The Warriors are 18-1 overall and 4-0 in conference play. Montana-Western, ranked No. 6, falls to 18-2 and 3-1.
The Warriors trailed 13-7 with 13:31 left to play, but by the time Montana-Western scored its next bucket with 4:36 left in the first half, the Warriors were up 21-15. The Bulldogs cut the margin to four twice in the second half, but couldn’t get closer.
LCSC senior post Ashley Baker scored 13 of her game-high 19 points in the first half as the Warriors took a 28-20 lead. Senior guard Janeen Nelson then had 13 of her 16 points in the second half as LCSC stayed in control to stand as the only unbeaten conference team.
Aundrea Morrison had 11 points and Jade Fullbright added 10 as the Warriors had four players in double figures. Baker also topped the team with eight rebounds.
LCSC needed all the production it could manage to offset Montana-Western’s inside duo of Katherine Sunwall and Becky O’Neil. Sunwall, who went just 1-of-8 from the field, still finished with nine points and grabbed 20 rebounds. O’Neil added 16 points and 12 rebounds as Montana-Western held a 42-30 rebounding edge.
The Warriors, however, forced 22 turnovers and held the Bulldogs to just 18-of-49 shooting from the field, 36.7 percent. Montana-Western entered the contest shooting better than 47 percent from the field.
LCSC was 22-of-53 from the field, 41.5 percent, and committed just 13 turnovers.
Both teams return to action on Saturday. LCSC will play host to Montana Tech at 6 p.m., Pacific time, while Montana-Western travels to Salt Lake City to meet Westminster at 5 p.m., Mountain time.