WHITTIER, Calif. - The Lewis & Clark men's basketball team returned to action on Saturday night in its first game since the Christmas Holiday. The Pioneers headed to California to take on Whittier where they earned a 78-69 victory.
The win improves the Pioneers to 6-4 on the season, while the Poets fall to 5-6 overall.
Freshman Serg Ovchinnikov led the way for the Pioneers with 21 points, hitting four of seven from three point range. In his first game of the season, senior James Hollins finished with 14 points, ending the contest a perfect 5-for-5 from the free throw stripe. Senior Ross Erickson knocked down 13 points to go with his team-high seven rebounds. Quentin Sims also ended the game with seven boards.
Chris Barnes-William led all players with 23 points and nine rebounds. Tyree Landrum also scored in double-digits for the Poets, knocking down 15 points, while Phillip Thomas scored 11 points.
The first half was a back and forth with the Pioneers holding a slim lead the majority of the time. Despite holding a two point, 37-35, advantage with 45 seconds to go until halftime, the Pioneers would head into the locker room tied with the Poets at 37 all.
Whittier started the second half strong, pulling ahead to a 47-41 lead with 18:11 to play. Ovchinnikov earned the lead back for Lewis & Clark two minutes later scoring nine unanswered points.
After the Poets recaptured the lead, Barnes-Williams put them ahead by seven with 12:01 to go with a long range three. Whittier remained ahead up until 2:53 when Sims nailed a three pointer of his own. With a 68-66 lead in the final minutes of the game, the Pioneer closed out the half on a 10-3 run for the win.
Lewis & Clark returns to action on Sunday afternoon in California.