No. 13 Warrior Women Fall to Defending National Champs
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No. 13 Warrior Women Fall to Defending National Champs

DILLON, Montana – The No. 13 Lewis-Clark State Women’s Basketball team fell to the defending national champions on Thursday night in Dillon, Mont. The No. 24 Montana Western Bulldogs came from behind in the final quarter to overtake the Warriors 54-50.

“I really don’t want to take anything away from Western because they got hot in the fourth quarter and out-played us,” head coach Brian Orr said, “but we pretty much just handed them the win. We lost our focus and intensity in the second half. We quit defending and rebounding, and on offense we didn’t execute well and just settled for jump stops. We need to grow quickly because every game in this league is going to be a battle.”

Kiara Burlage hit a 3 to opening the scoring with an assist from Jansen Edmiston. Peyton Souvenir doubled the lead a minute later to make it 6-0 three minutes in. Defense reigned for most of the quarter until Abbie Johnson found the basket with three minutes on the clock to make it 10-5. Hannah Burland dropped in a layup in the final minute to put LC State up 12-9 after the first 10 minutes.

The Bulldogs hit a game-tying 3 to open the second quarter, but Edmiston broke through the defense to put the Warriors back in front with a layup a minute in. UMW took the lead with a three-point play at the eight minute mark, but a 3-pointer by Rachel Schroeder gave LC back the advantage at 17-16.

Edmiston knocked down a triple to put LC State back in front at 6:25. The Bulldogs tied the score once again before Burlage found Burland with three minutes left to give LC a slim 22-20 lead. The advantage was pushed to five on a 3-pointer by Souvenir at 2:18, and Johnson made it 27-20 with a layup less than a minute later. Souvenir made it 10-straight on a three-point play and LC State took a 31-23 lead into halftime.

Edmiston hit a jumper to kick start the scoring in the second half, and a pair of foul shots by Souvenir at 8:20 made it 25-23. The Warriors continued to grow their advantage and led 39-26 with four minutes left in the third. Edmiston added a pair of free throws in the final minute to send LC into the final quarter with a 41-34 advantage.

Johnson kept the Warriors in front by nine with a basket to make it 43-34 in the fourth, but the Bulldogs rallied to cut the LC State lead to three at 43-40 with 5:53 to play. A 3 tied things up 43-43 at 5:16, but two free throws by Burlage put the Warriors back in front 45-43 with five to play.

Burlage added to the slim lead with a layup two minutes later to bring the score to 47-43 in favor of LC State. Two more foul shots by the junior kept the advantage at four points with under two to go, but UMW tied things up with 1:20 on the clock. The Bulldogs hit what became the game winner with a 3 pointer as time wound down. UMW came from behind to take the contest 54-50.

Burlage led all scorers with 13 points, Edmiston had 12 and Souvenir collected 11 points and eight boards. The Warriors were 11-for-15 (73.33 percent) from the line and forced 20 turnovers.

The Bulldogs out-rebounded LC State 41-30 and held the Warriors to a field goal percentage of 32 and a 3-point percentage of 19.

The Warriors continue the road trip on Saturday when the face No. 20 Rocky Mountain College in Billings, Mont. at 2 p.m. PT.

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