PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Lewis & Clark Pioneers didn't shoot the ball well in Friday night's 56-39 loss to the Linfield Wildcats. As a result, the Pios posted a season low in points scored to open the second half of the Northwest Conference schedule at Pamplin Sports Center.
Markel Leonard had 10 points, all in the second half, to lead Lewis & Clark. Alex Jones and Cannen Roberson combined for 15 points, but no one else had more than six points. Starters Jonathan Boddie, Nico Bricker and Andrew Vickers went a combined 1 for 10 from the floor, and only Kyle Owens and Jones hit a field goal off the bench before the final four minutes of the game. Trevor Jeg and Skout Roberson both scored late.
Liam O'Reilly led Linfield with 19 points on 7 of 11 shooting, making his only 3-point attempt and all four free throws. The Wildcats (11-7; 5-4 NWC) had a big advantage in points in the paint, 30-12, and fastbreak points, 11-0.
Other than two 3-point makes by Jones, the Pios were held scoreless through the first eight minutes of the game. Despite the slow start, Owens' three with 11:45 remaining brought Lewis & Clark within a point, 10-9. Owens finished with six points.
Cory Coombe made a free throw with just under eight minutes remaining, but the Pioneers went cold again, going nearly six minutes without points. Linfield stretched a two-point lead to 30-17 at halftime as a result.
Although there is a lot of time remaining until the NWC tournament in late February, the loss hurts Lewis & Clark's bid to return to the postseason after missing for the first time in eight years a year ago. The defeat, combined with George Fox's 78-77 win over Puget Sound, moves Lewis & Clark (7-11; 4-5 NWC) out of a three-way tie for the final two tournament spots. Linfield also holds the tiebreaker after winning both games against Lewis & Clark this season.
Lewis & Clark enters Saturday's game at Pacific Lutheran tied with the Lutes for fifth place in the conference. The Pios won the first meeting, 84-62, last month.
Other Northwest Conference Scores - Friday
George Fox 78, Puget Sound 77
Whitworth 77, Willamette 55
Pacific Lutheran 58, Pacific 48