LEWISTON – In a battle of the top two teams in the Cascade Conference, No. 7 Lewis-Clark State toppled previously undefeated Oregon Tech to take the top spot in the CCC standings. The Warriors made more than 50% of their shots in the 88-71 victory thanks in part to 38 points off the bench. LC State used a commanding 19-7 second quarter to take control.
Callie Stevens led LC with 17 points and freshman Tatum Brager tallied a career-best 15 with four 3-pointers.
“Tonight was a battle and I was very impressed with our poise and positivity,” Head Coach Caelyn Orlandi said. “OIT is a very good team with multiple scorers and they battled hard all game. We had an excellent second quarter and I thought we dug in very well defensively. I thought we had some lapses defensively in the second half, but our team kept on playing tough.”
With the win, LC State improves to 13-2 overall and holds for the top spot in the CCC with a 9-1 record.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Oregon Tech had the hot hand to start the night with five straight points before pushing its lead out to 9-3 by 7:22. A triple by Stevens has the Warriors within one, 15-14, at 4:22, and a layup by Darian Herring put LC State up for good at 2:52. Sitara Byrd added a bucket before Stevens scored five straight to close out the first quarter with the Warriors in front 25-20.
LC State took control of the contest with a 19-7 second frame. Ella Nelson sparked a big 12-point run with contributions from Ellie Sander and Herring to push the advantage to 39-25 with 2:11 to play in the half. Maddie Holm and Brager combined for the final five points of the period to send LC to the locker room with a 44-27 lead.
The second half was an even battle with the two programs trading baskets. A 3 by Stevens started a seven-point stretch that had the Warriors up 55-33 at 6:19. Mataya Green completed an and-one play at 2:22 to keep the difference at 22, 62-40, and Nelson and Brager scored to send the Warriors into the fourth quarter with a 65-44 advantage.
The final 10 minutes were a back-and-forth battle that saw 11 points from Brager. Holm added seven points in the frame as LC closed out the victory.
Stevens led LC State with 17 points, Brager scored 15, Byrd added 14 and Holm notched a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Herring scored 10 points to go with four blocks and three steals, and Sander dealt four assists and had three steals.
“Another game that I thought we had so many great stat lines,” Orlandi said. “I love that we can have so many players step up and make things happen. I was so excited that Tatum came in and hit some big shots for her career night. Maddie Holm with another double-double is tremendous, Callie was tough at the point breaking the press and scoring the ball, Sitara shot the ball great all weekend and Darian immediately comes in and makes an impact offensively and defensively.”
The Warriors utilized 38 points off the bench with 10 different players scoring and 10 grabbing a rebound. LC State shot 54.2% from the floor and held OIT to 34.7% from the floor and 28.6% from 3-point range.
“Mataya always comes in and gives us energy and makes things happen, Ella had some excellent moves to the basket tonight, Lindsey (Wilson) was strong down low, Ellie with four assists coming from the two guard which is fantastic and both Camden and Grace gave us great minutes,” Orlandi added. “A great team win, and I am proud of the way we stay together and battle for each other.”
Oregon Tech’s Olivia Sprague led the contest with 25 points and Gabbie Gascon added 21. Jozie Ramos grabbed eight rebounds.
The Warriors are on the road for the remainder of the month, starting with a trip to Portland next weekend. LC State takes on Warner Pacific on Friday and Multnomah on Saturday.
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