by Kelsey Bumgarner
Athletics Development & Sports Information Assistant
SPOKANE, Wash. – In the Northwest Conference men's semifinals Thursday evening, despite an early first-half lead, the Lewis & Clark men's basketball team lost to the 10th-ranked Whitworth Pirates 79-61, ending the 2011-12 season.
Idris Lasisi also scored 27 points and grabbed eight rebounds for the Pirates. Felix Friedt had the only double-double of the night with 16 points and 10 rebounds, and Jack Loofburrow had nine points for the evening.
The Pioneers came out strong in the first half, jumping to an early 8-0 lead on two Wells' jumpers and shots by Hollins and Erickson. An Erickson three pushed the Pios up 11-2 at 14:38, but Lasisi scored the first 13 points for Whitworth, bringing the score to 14-13 at the 9:47 mark. Freidt then scored five consecutive points as Whitworth went up 18-14 with 7:39 in the half to go.
Whitworth continued to take control of the game, pulling to a 25-18 lead on a Zach Payne free throw. Donato Perconti scored a layup, and then the Pirates went on a 10-3 run, headed by Lasisi, and the Pioneers went into halftime down 35-23.
Caron Rayford scored first coming into the second half with a layup, and Wells scored five quick points to get within nine at the 18 minute mark, but the Pios never got closer as Whitworth continued to extend the lead.
A three-pointer by Colton McGargar at 10:38 gave the Pirates their largest lead of the night at 56-38, but another Wells' jumper and a Perconti three kept the lead to within 15. The teams exchanged points back and forth the rest of the game, but the Pios were unable to close the gap, and Wells scored seven of the L&C's last nine points to finish the game at 79-61.
Lewis & Clark finishes the season with a 14-12 record. Whitworth (23-3) will go on to host the Northwest Conference Championship on Saturday at 7 p.m. against Puget Sound.