Linn-Benton’s Activity Center was the site of a game for both basketball teams on a run towards playoff contention in the Northwest Athletic Conference (NWAC) on Wednesday, Feb.15.
Linn-Benton’s Roadrunners played the Southwestern Oregon Lakers in a game that proved both teams are deserving of a playoff spot. The score heavily favored Linn-Benton at the end of the first quarter, leading 28-18, but in the second quarter they got outscored 16-12 by the Lakers, resulting in a 40-34 lead at halftime.
Starting the third quarter, the Roadrunners came out hitting their first five shots, three of which were three-pointers, giving way to a 15 point lead halfway through the third quarter. However, the Lakers were able to go on a run of eight straight points, trimming the lead down to seven, but Linn-Benton ended the quarter leading 65-50.
LBCC got all-around great production from freshman Jade Bevandich, which lead the team in scoring with 17 points, while also tallying eight rebounds, five assists, and four steals.
“Defense was key in this game for us on the push for the playoffs,” said Bevandich.
They also got a healthy amount of point-production from Sophomore Hannah Creswick, who had eight points, seven rebounds, and three assists. As they entered the fourth quarter, the Roadrunners continued to play aggressively, getting multiple defensive stops to extend their lead all the way up 23 with about six minutes left in the game. The Roadrunners were playing lights out as a team from the three-point line, shooting 40 percent and making 12 three-pointers in the game.
“This game was a statement game for us as we draw closer to the end of the season pushing for the playoffs, and try to get back to winning again,” said Creswick.
With three minutes left in the game, LBCC was up 20, in reach of ending their four-game skid, but Southwestern wouldn’t give up, and went on a 8-0 run to trim the lead to 12 with 1:30 left in the game. After a time-out, the Lakers sent Jade Bevandich to the free throw line with a foul, where she hit both shot attempts, giving her 5-6 free throws on the night. With one minute left, Linn-Benton hit all six of their free throws, leading to an 18 point win against the Southwestern Lakers with the dominating final score of 82-64.
“We played well on all ends of the court tonight and our defense lead to offense,” said Creswick.
The team is trending upward towards the playoff with an important game on the road Feb. 18 against Chemeketa, and then a home game against Mt. Hood on Feb. 25.
Story and Photos by Joshua Knight