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.
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.