Lewis & Clark begins rally for postseason with win over George Fox

Lewis & Clark begins rally for postseason with win over George Fox

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Andrew Vickers put in four points at the end of the second half, adding to his career night, to lead the Lewis & Clark Pioneers to an 84-80 win against the George Fox Bruins on Tuesday night at Pamplin Sports Center.

The victory ends a four-game losing skid for Lewis & Clark and evened the season series with the Bruins. The Pioneers will need to win nearly if not all of their games if they want to make the Northwest Conference tournament in late February.

"One game at a time," said senior Cannen Roberson, who finished with 10 points on 8 of 10 shooting. "We know if we go 1-0 every single night, we have a chance to handle our own destiny. We dug ourselves in a little bit of a hole, so if we keep that philosophy we'll be fine."

The Pioneers (8-12; 5-6 NWC) are a half-game behind Pacific Lutheran and one game behind George Fox (8-12; 6-5 NWC) for the final NWC tournament spot. Lewis & Clark still has to play Whitman and Whitworth again, who are in the conference's top two spots. Linfield, which is one-and-a-half games ahead of the Pios, owns the head-to-head tiebreaker with Lewis & Clark.

A back and forth game from the beginning, the Pioneers took a six-point lead five minutes in, but were unable to hold on, with the lead changing several times for the remainder of the half.  

Lewis & Clark took the lead again with 36 seconds left in the half, before a Bruins basket put George Fox up by one. The first half showed a huge improvement from the Pioneers last home game, when they scored less than 40 points. Lewis & Clark reached that total in the first half, trailing 44-43 at halftime.

Shooting 53 percent from the field, Lewis & Clark had its best shooting night since Jan. 3 when the Pios shot 55 percent but lost at George Fox, 103-96, in overtime. For the second-straight game, the Pioneers put up 35 3-point attempts, making 40 percent on Tuesday night. After shooting 33 percent or less in three of his last four games, Roberson's 80 percent from the field is his best performance of the year.

"I'm trying to stay aggressive every game," said Roberson, who passed 900 career points in Lewis & Clark's last game. "I'm trying to go at it because I know we're good when I'm good as well."

Even when Roberson shot his highest percentage during that four-game stretch, 58 percent against Whitman on Jan. 21, he started the game 0 for 5 before making his last seven shots.

Vickers shot 7 of 10 from the floor and 4 of 7 on 3-point attempts, while fellow freshman Nico Bricker was 4 of 5 from the field for 10 points, although he played just two minutes in the second half. Alex Jones was 4 of 6 from the floor in the second half, hitting three 3-pointers, and finished with 16 points.

Roberson says Vickers strong play will be critical the rest of the season as the Pios rally for the playoffs.

"He's the point guard, so everything runs through him, so when he has it going, we all have it going. It's a good sign when he's aggressive, attacking and knocking down shots."

Lewis & Clark returns home on Friday to play Puget Sound at 8 p.m. The Loggers won the first match-up in Tacoma, Wash., 76-70, in overtime, Lewis & Clark's second-straight overtime game.

Student-athletes who made Lewis & Clark's Fall 2016 Dean's List will be honored at halftime on Friday.