Men's Basketball Opens Conference With 75-68 Loss to Linfield

Men's Basketball Opens Conference With 75-68 Loss to Linfield


McMINNVILLE, Ore. - The Lewis & Clark men's basketball team opened Northwest Conference action on Friday night with a road contest against the Linfield Wildcats. After several lead changes, the Wildcats pulled out a 75-68 win in the final minutes of the game. 

The Pioneers fall to 3-2 on the season and 0-1 in NWC action. The Wildcats improve to 1-4 overall and 1-0 in conference. 

Ross Erickson led the way for the Pioneers with a team-high 17 points. Connor Freeberg and Quentin Sims each chipped in 10 points, while Freeberg led the team in rebounds with six. 

Brandon Harris was the Wildcats leading scorer with 20 points, while collecting a game-high six boards. 

The two sides traded possession of the lead through 10 minutes of action, before three consecutive free-throws by Serg Ovchinnikov put the Pioneers ahead 11-9. Ovchinnikov increased the Pios lead to 16-9 with 9:46 on the clock with a three pointer.

The Pios continued their dominance from the perimeter, as two more threes pushed their lead into double digits, 24-13, with seven minutes remaining in the first.

A layup from Freeberg as time wound down gave the Pioneers a 35-31 lead heading into the break.

The Lewis & Clark bench had a solid presence in the first half, scoring 15 of the Pioneers 35 first half points.

Justin Leathers increased the Pioneers lead back to 10 points with a three-point play three minutes into the second period.

The deficit did nothing to deter the Wildcats who clawed their way back within a point on a Matt kalbfleisch jumper with 11:26 on the clock. Linfield took its first lead since the first half with 7:35 to go on a three-pointer from Andrew Batiuk.

The Pioneers quickly recaptured the lead, but Batiuk would hit another lead changing three with 4:02 on the clock. The Wildcats would never look back after recapturing the lead. 

Lewis & Clark returns to action at 7 p.m. on Dec. 1 at home against George Fox for more Northwest Conference action.