SPOKANE, Wash. - The Lewis & Clark men's basketball team ended its season on Thursday night against #15 Whitworth in the Northwest Conference semi-final. The Pirates earned a 87-62 win over the Pioneers in the Whitworth Fieldhouse.
The Pioneers end their season with a 17-9 overall record and 10-6 conference standings. The Pirates move onto the NWC Championship where they will host the winner of the Whitman/Puget Sound game for the conference's automatic qualifier to the NCAA Division III Men's Basketball Tournament. The Pirates are 21-5 on the year and 14-2 in NWC play.
Kurt Parker paced the Pioneers with a team-high 14 points, while sophomore Serg Ovchinnikov ended the night with 13. Bradley Carter and Quentin Sims both netted 10 points for the Pioneers, while senior Connor Freeberg collected a game-high eight rebounds.
Christian Jurlina led all players with a game-high 23 points, while teammate Colton McCarger netted 22.
Whitworth pulled ahead by five points in the opening two and a half minutes, but Lewis & Clark fought its way back in the game, taking an 11-9 lead with 13:59 to go in the half. The Pioneer lead, which would be their only of the game, was started by a Carter layup two minutes earlier. The layup spurred a 7-0 Pioneer run, which also saw a jumper by Sims and an Ovchinnikov three-pointer.
The Pirates responded seconds later with a Dustin McConnell three-pointer which gave them the lead back for good. Whitworth extended its lead to double-digits, eventually taking a 45-34 lead into halftime.
Lewis & Clark kept battling throughout the second half, opening the period on a 6-0 run that saw them pull as close as five points. A Randall Jackson layup with 13:51 remaining in the game made it a four point, 52-48, contest which would be as close as the Pioneers would be able to get.