LEWISTON - Damek Mitchell scored a team-best 19 points and Jake Albright scored a career-high 18 points to lead the 13th ranked Lewis-Clark State College to a riches-to-rags-to-riches victory over Montana Western in a Frontier Conference men’s basketball game at the Activity Center Thursday night.
The Warriors (18-1 overall, 6-1 conference) had leads of as many as 16 points in the first half only to see the advantage dwindle and almost disappear when the Bulldogs (9-9, 2-5) started the second half with a 22-12 run. That brought them to within one point, 51-50, and prompted introspection from the Warriors.
“We started off great with our defense then we kind of let our foot off the gas,” Mitchell said. “We were letting their playmakers make plays.”
A timely break in the form a timeout put the Warriors back on track when they turned in a run of their own to regain their double-digit edge, 61-50, on Jaxon Hughes’ 3-pointer with 11:51 to play. Albright went to work immediately after Hughes’ 3 by powering his way inside for three successive scores and the momentum the Bulldogs couldn’t stop.
“After the timeout,” Mitchell said, “we focused back up and we got our rhythm back, started making shots, getting the ball in to the post. We starting locking up and playing defense.”
LC’s ability to regain control was a simple matter of the Warriors being themselves.
“We just had to go back to what we do, play our game,” Mitchell said.
The Warriors shot 49.2% from the field and continued their amazing marksmanship from 3-point range, shooting a cool 54.2% (13-of-24). In contrast, the Bulldogs shot 42.6% (23-of-54) from the field and 26.3% (5-of-19) from 3-point range.
For the Warriors, Mitchell and Trystan Bradley had eight rebounds each. Mitchell also added eight assists. Travis Yenor added 15 points and Josiah Westbrook and Bradley had 12 points each as LC finished with five players reaching double-figure scoring.
LCSC is back in action Saturday afternoon at 4:00 P.M. against Rocky Mountain College.