|COLLEGE PLACE, Wash. – Alton Hamilton had a big night with a career-high 18 points to help the Warriors defeat Walla Walla University 94-68 on Thursday. The victory moves LC State to 5-4 overall and 3-0 in Cascade Conference play.
“Proud of our guys for gutting one out,” Head Coach Austin Johnson said. “The injury bug has hit us pretty bad, but it is impressive to see this group’s togetherness early on. Alton and Anthony (Peoples Jr.) did great defensively which set the tone for us. We did a good job taking care of the ball and, for the most part, took great shots. We will try and reset and get ready for two really good conference teams next weekend at home.”
HOW IT HAPPENED
The contest was scoreless through the first three minutes before Alton Hamilton fought his way to the basket for the games first two points. Free throws by Hamilton and Davian Brown kept the score close with WWU ahead 9-5 at 14:21, and tallies by Anthony Peoples Jr. and Gorden Boykins had LC within one, 11-10, at 13:12.
Boykins put he Warriors in front with a layup 30 seconds later and a dunk by Peoples Jr. grew the margin to 14-11 at 12:14. A three-point play by John Lustig capped a 10-point run for LC State that had the Warriors ahead 17-11 at 11:43.
Foul shots by Peoples Jr. and Sam Stockton were followed by a layup by Peoples Jr. to move the LC lead to 28-19 by 5:32. Javon Jones added more free throws to the LC total and a 3-pointer by Jaedon Bradley grew the difference to double-digits, 33-21, with 3:40 to play in the half. Quentin Raynor dropped a layup in at the buzzer to send LC State to the locker room leading 40-27.
Three triples by Raynor got the scoring started for the Warriors in the second half and a free throw by Peoples Jr. had the advantage at 50-36 at 16:44. Lustig nailed a 3 and Raynor added his fourth of the contest to make it 59-40 at 13:28.
Hamilton and Boykins went back-to-back with hard-fought baskets to keep the momentum with the Warriors midway through the second half. Bradley registered two straight LC State baskets to give the Warriors a 71-52 cushion with 8:16 to play.
The Warriors took advantage of free throws by Stockton and Lustig, as well as buckets by Bradley and Hamilton, to lead 79-64 in the final four minutes. Bradely drained a 3-pointer before adding free throws in the final minute. A jumper by Raynor closed out the scoring.
Hamilton led the Warriors with a career-high 18 points and Bradley added 16 points with eight rebounds. Raynor tallied 16 as well, going 4-for-6 from 3-point range, and Lustig scored 14 points. Every Warrior scored in the contest where LC State shot 50% from the field.
The Warriors continue Cascade Conference play on Dec. 15 against Corban. Tip off is set for 7 p.m. in the P1FCU Activity Center.
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