FOREST GROVE, Ore. - Senior James Hollins netted 14 points to lead the Lewis & Clark men's basketball team over the Pacific Boxers 66-53. With the win, the Pioneers are in control of fourth place in the Northwest Conference standings, earning a spot in the NWC Tournament.
The Pioneers improve to 15-9 on the season and 9-6 in the conference, breaking their two-way tie with the Boxers in the standings. The Boxers fall to 14-10 overall and 8-7 in the NWC.
Hollins scored some of his 14 points from hitting 7-of-10 of his free-throws. Hollins also earned a team-high eight rebounds, while coming up with two steals. Senior Dexter Pearce knocked down 12 points in the win, while freshman Serg Ovchinnikov scored 11.
Danny Brakebush and Charles Mosley each scored 10 points for the Boxers, while Dustin Bowser pulled down a game-high 11 boards.
The first half was a true battle with neither team getting more than a two point advantage through the first 15 minutes of action. After tying the contest for the 10th time in the first half with 5:29 to go, the Pioneers recaptured the lead with a Connor Freeberg three point play. The junior hit a jumper with 4:17 to go and nailed his free-throw after being fouled on his shot.
Hollins gave the Pioneers a four point, 30-26, lead with a little under four minutes to go, which was the largest lead by either team in the half. Despite Pacific's best effort, the Pioneers managed to hang onto a one point, 31-30, lead heading into halftime.
Lewis & Clark came out in the second half ready to go, running up a 15 point lead in the first five minutes of action. Pearce capped off the Pios 17-3 run with a three pointer assisted by Ben Neves. The Pioneers never allowed the Boxers within striking distance the rest of the way. Back-to-back free-throws by Hollins earned the team their largest lead of the game at 18 points with a little over two minutes remaining.
Lewis & Clark ends the regular season on Saturday, Feb. 16 at 8 p.m. at Pacific Lutheran.