Nathan Fromm

Photo: LCSC Athletics

LEWISTON - The seventh-ranked Lewis-Clark State Men’s Basketball team battled it out with the fifth-ranked Arizona Christian Firestorm for the second night in a row and emerged victorious with an upset win on Saturday. Nathan Fromm led the Warriors with a career-high 19 points in the 88-79 victory.

“It was a gut check win for our guys today in another big-time matchup,” Head Coach Austin Johnson said. “Our seniors really buckled down to defend at a higher level and make winning plays.”

It was a back-and-forth contest from the start as the two top-10 teams matched each other shot-for-shot through the first eight minutes. A free throw by Khalil Stevenson sparked an eight-point run to put the Warriors up 24-15 by 8:43. The rally was capped by back-to-back baskets by Fromm.

Silas Bennion and Trystan Bradley went back-to-back to give the Warriors a 10-point lead (28-18) at 6:45, and a 3-pointer from Damek Mitchell kept the advantage at 10 at 5:05.

ACU inched back within four, but a dunk from Stevenson and a 3-pointer from Bradley sent the Warriors into halftime with a 40-33 lead.

Free throws by Mitchell stretched the Warrior advantage to 10 two minutes into the second half. A jumper by Fromm started a nine-point run the made it 56-39 by 14:16, and a 3-pointer by Bradley gave LC State a 19-point lead.

ACU chipped away at the Warrior advantage and came within five at 6:58. Stevenson boosted the offense with a layup to open a seven-point run to push the lead out to 76-64 with 5:24 to play.

Mitchell scored four points in the final minute, and a free throw by Jake Albright capped with scoring with LC ahead 88-79 to close out the upset.

Fromm led LC State with his career-high 19 points to go with three boards and two steals. Mitchell dropped 17 points, including three 3-pointers, and dished out seven assists. Albright led the defense with 11 rebounds and scored 17 points. Both Bradley and Stevenson tallied 11 points, with Bradley grabbing eight boards.

The Warriors shot 50.8 percent from the field and made 18 free throws. They outrebounded one of the top rebounding teams in the nation 41-30. All but one Warrior scored in the contest, and every player that got in the game had at least one rebound. With the win, the Warriors improve to 9-1.

“We got great contributions from everyone that played and it all started with our defense,” Johnson explained. “Damek was huge, Trystan and Jake owned the glass. Nate (Fromm) had a great bounce-back game and was definitely a difference maker down the stretch. We need to rest up for another big road game tomorrow.”

LC State wraps up its Arizona trip tomorrow with a contest against Park Gilbert (Ariz.) at 2 p.m. PT. Links to follow the action can be found on lcwarriors.com.