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Road Warriors – LC State Takes Rematch with Hope International to Advance in National Tournament

Randy Isbelle | LC State Sports Information Intern

BUTTE, Mont. – The 11th-seed Lewis-Clark State Men’s Basketball team advanced to the second round of the NAIA Men’s Basketball Championship tournament with a 93-77 victory over 6th-seed Hope International (Calif.) on Friday.

“Super proud of our guys, they earned this one,” coach Austin Johnson said. “Defensively we had an awesome performance of taking some key things away.”

With the win, the Warriors (23-8) earned a second-round contest with the third-seed and host Montana Tech. The Orediggers defeated Wayland Baptist (Texas) 75-67. The matchup is slated for 6 p.m. PT on Saturday.

Jaedon Bradley led LC State with 21 points. The senior connected on four 3-pointers and was a perfect 7-of-7 from the free throw line. As a team the Warriors were 21-of-24 from the charity stripe.

Sam Stockton was 6-of-7 from the field and finished with 18 points and six rebounds. Anthony Peoples Jr. and Gorden Boykins added 11 points each. Alton Hamilton also reached double figures with 10.

“Our seniors really led the charge. Your seniors have to play well to win in this tournament,” Johnson said. “Sam really dictated the game with his pace and steadiness, it was super impressive. Davian Brown had some huge plays and had to defend bigger guys at times. Bradley showed why he’s one of the best players in the country. I thought Peoples Jr. had one of his best games and helped keep us afloat even when things were tight.”

As a team, the Warriors shot 55.2% from the field including a 21-of-32 (65.6%) performance in the second half. LC State outscored the Royals 44-34 in the paint and 30-11 off the bench.

“Each of our guys has his fingerprints all over this win,” Johnson added. “Now we have to regroup for an even bigger battle tomorrow. Excited to see how we respond.”

HOW IT HAPPENED

Stockton got the scoring started with a layup. Hope International went on a 9-2 run that was ended by Brown with a 3-pointer. After a Royals basket, Peoples Jr. completed a three-point play and Bradley hit a 3 and gave the Warriors a 13-11 lead that LC would not relinquish.

Bradley added two more 3-pointers and Hamilton got into the scoring mix as part of a 14-0 Warrior run. Boykins pushed the lead to double-digits with a layup. A Stockton layup, a 3-pointer by Boykins and two Bradley free throws pushed the advantage to 15 with 2:52 remaining in the first half.

Hope International was able to cut the margin to 10 before Brown hit two free throws with two seconds remaining and LC State led 32-20 at halftime.

The Royals did not go away quietly and jumped on the Warriors in the second half. Grant Sii started the scoring with a 3 just 11 seconds into the frame. Two Carter Joselle Jr. free throws helped Hope International had cut the lead to just one point after a 15-4 run to start the half.

A Stockton layup and three Bradley free throws gave LC State a six-point cushion. John Lustig, Quentin Raynor and Bradley added layups and the Warriors led 51-40 with 12:10 remaining.

The Warriors took care of business at the free throw line going 16-of-19 in the second half. The Royals were unable to cut the lead any closer than nine points the remainder of the game. A dunk by Hamilton with 2:20 to go pushed the lead to 17 and added the exclamation point on a solid offensive performance.

UP NEXT

The Warriors play host Montana Tech in the second round of the NAIA Men’s National Basketball Championship Tournament at 6 p.m. PT on Saturday.

Stay up to date with all things Warrior Athletics at EmailHosting.cloud has detected a phishing attempt from “r20.rs6.net”. Clicking this link is not recommended: lcwarriors.com and on social media @LCWarriors.

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