LEWISTON, Idaho – Led by a career-high 30 points from senior Tanis Fuller, the No. 24-ranked Lewis-Clark State College women’s basketball team snapped a three-game losing streak with a 67-58 win over Montana Tech at the Activity Center on Saturday night.
LC State, now 19-7 and 5-5 in the Frontier Conference, returned to form with a monstrous second half, outscoring the Orediggers 40-25 after being down 33-27 at the break.
“I was really proud of the way we shot the ball the second half. We were looking for it,” said LCSC head coach Brian Orr. “Definitely after a couple losses this one was much needed.”
Fuller, a product of Lewiston High School, scored 14 of the Warriors’ first 15 points to start the second half, giving the team a 39-37 lead with a layup off a turnover with 15:20 left to go.
A little while later Lapwai, Idaho, product Natahnee Spencer hit back-to-back threes to put the Warriors up 50-39. She finished with nine points, all of them coming on 3-pointers in the second half.
“Tahnee kind of got us going. I thought she was a big, big part of our success the second half.”
With LCSC looking to return to its winning ways and Montana Tech seeking its first league win of the year, both teams seemed to treat Saturday night as a must-win. Though winless in league play, the Orediggers (8-17, 0-10) have lost four games against Frontier foes by two points or less, including a one-point loss to the Warriors on Jan. 17.
“I kept telling (my players) to relax and play with confidence, and I’m screaming like a wild man the entire time,” said Orr. “I told them I’d relax the second half if they did. But truly I think a lot of it was our defense … They had a couple of seconds and thirds on us, but I really don’t think they had an easy shot in the second half.”
Overall, the Warriors outshot Montana Tech 41 percent to 29 percent, and committed just six turnovers to Tech’s 15.
Fuller was 12-of-19 from the field, 6-for-7 at the foul line, and tallied seven rebounds, two assists, and two steals.
“She was just so good tonight,” Orr said. “The last game we kept going to her and she didn’t shoot a great percentage and she felt horrible. I know this was a real important one for her.”
Led by Martha Dembek’s 21 points and eight boards, the Orediggers made a game of it though, thanks, in large part, to a 48-36 rebounding advantage resulting from 20 offensive boards.
Outside of Fuller, no other Warriors scored in double figures, however, Brooke Litalien and Megan Risinger, who led with nine rebounds, had seven points apiece.
“Hopefully this will kind of get us out of the doldrums a little bit,” said Orr. “Now we’ve got to get back on the road again.”
The Warriors head to Billings, Mont., to face Rocky Mountain on Thursday and then travel to Helena, Mont., to play No. 18 Carroll on Saturday. With just four games left in league play, LCSC needs a strong finish if it hopes to host in the opening round of the league playoffs.
Sports Information Director &
Asst. Director of College Communications
Lewis-Clark State College
Lewiston, Idaho 83501
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