PORTLAND, Ore. - The Lewis & Clark men's basketball made sure to remain in second place in the Northwest Conference defeating the Linfield Wildcats 61-45 on Saturday night in the Pamplin Sports Center. The win splits the Pioneers series with the Wildcats, who beat L&C in the first meeting.
The Pioneers are now 13-6 on the season and 7-3 in NWC action. The Wildcats slip to 3-16 overall and 2-8 in conference.
Ross Erickson led the Pioneers with a team-high 13 points. Freshman Serg Ovchinnikov returned to action to score nine points off the bench for L&C, while senior James Hollins and sophomore Caron Rayford ended the night with seven points. Connor Freeberg led the Pioneers with six rebounds.
Nick Cantonwine led all players with 14 points, while teammate Cody Jurgens scored nine for the Wildcats.
The first five minutes of the half was a back and forth with both sides trying to find their rhythm. The Pioneers took full control of the scoreboard with a Dexter Pearce three pointer. Erickson handed the Pioneers their first double-digit lead of the game with 9:00 to go with a layup under the basket. The teams largest lead of the half came in the final second with a three by Hollins, taking the Pios into the half ahead 34-21.
Lewis & Clark kept Linfield at a double-digit disadvantage throughout the entire second half, capturing a 21 point, 58-37, lead with 5:44 to go. Chris Dirks made it a 61-45 game with the last shot of the game in the final minute and a half.
Lewis & Clark returns to action on Friday, Feb. 1 at 8 p.m. against Whitworth in Spokane, Wash.