After starting slow in the first 20 minutes, Lewis-Clark State found success offensively in the second half on the way to a 56-40 win over visiting College of Idaho on Thursday in the first game of the Cascade Collegiate Conference Championships.
In the first half, the Yotes (4-13) jumped out to an early 9-2 lead four minutes in thanks to a pair of 3-pointers from Kenadee French and another by Allie Cannon.
The Warriors (11-5) eventually took a 15-11 lead into the locker room after outscoring C of I 9-2 in the second quarter, tallying five points at the free throw line and adding a pair of baskets from Kiara Burlage and Abbie Johnson.
While LCSC struggled mightily from the floor in the first half, hitting just 5-of-33 shots attempted from the field and missing all 12 of their 3-pointers, the Warriors picked it up in a big way in the second half by connecting at an over 60 percent clip in both the third and fourth quarters.
Taking a 38-22 advantage into the final 10 minutes, the Warriors would not allow the Yotes back within 10 points the rest of the way.
Burlage led LCSC with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Johnson had 15 points, six steals and four rebounds.
French paced the scoring for C of I with 12 points on four 3-pointers. Sophia Jackson had nine points on three triples. Kiersten Rasmussen, Allie Cannon and Lexi Mitchell each added seven rebounds, with French and Rasmussen contributing three steals each.
Both teams return to action for the second contest of the best-of-three series on Sunday at 3 p.m. in Caldwell. Fans can watch live on the Yotes Digital Network with Sven Alskog on the call. The winner of the series earns an automatic bid to the NAIA National Tournament.