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Archers Upend Pirates to Keep Pace in Region XVI

February 17, 2013

Nick Lawshe  
Nick Lawshe muscles past a North Central defender in the
Archers' 70-54 win Feb. 16. Lawshe finished with 11 points and
nine rebounds.

St. Louis Community College men’s basketball coach Randy Albrecht knew his team needed a win over North Central Missouri College (NCMC) at home. With the Archers sitting at a 1-3 record in Region XVI play, STLCC pulled out a 70-54 victory over the Pirates.

“We needed a win badly,” Albrecht said. “If we’d have lost, I thought, ‘Boy, it’s going to be tough to find a victory.’”

In the first half against NCMC, the Archers shot 53.3 percent from the field and 40 percent from beyond the arc. The shooting, along with making 8 of 10 free throws, cushioned STLCC to a 42-22 at the break, which was their largest lead of the day.

However, the Archers were outscored in the second half 32-28. STLCC went almost four minutes into the start of the second half without scoring as the Pirates cut the 20-point deficit to nine.

With the help of sophomore forward Evan Jones’ (Cardinal Ritter) team-leading 13 points off the bench and sophomore forward Cameron Hicks’ (Clayton) 12 points, the Archers didn’t collapse. Sophomore forward Nick Lawshe (McCluer North) also chipped in 11 points and led STLCC with nine rebounds. Freshman guard Kuna Lahai-Pumagoi (Edwardsville) also had nine rebounds.

Albrecht said it was one of the better first halves of the season for the Archers, but the second half was a slow start.

“We played really well in the first half,” Albrecht said. “We accomplished most of our goals. We wanted to hold them to 25 points or under, and we held them to 22. We wanted to take the ball inside and try to hurt them inside. I thought we did a decent job of that. I was pretty pleased with the first half. Second half, I think we just couldn’t get our focus. (We) started badly, didn’t handle the ball well and made too many turnovers in the second half. They made a run at us, and we didn’t completely collapse.”

Jones said the win means a lot to the team since it lost its first meeting with NCMC earlier this season.

“We know now that once we get into the regional tournament, that this is a team we can beat,” Jones said. “I don’t have any fear. We know we can come in and do what we need to do.”

With the win, the Archers improve their overall record to 19-9 and 2-3 mark in Region XVI contests. The Pirates fall to 12-12 overall but also possess a 2-3 record in Region XVI play. Metropolitan Community College-Penn Valley and Wentworth Military Academy both have a 3-2 record in the conference. Albrecht said the tight records in the conference could result in a four-way tie for first place.

“Nobody’s going to win five (games in the conference). The most anybody can win is four,” Albrecht said. “Penn can win four if they beat us, and Wentworth could win four if they beat North Central, but it still could end up with everybody being 3-3. That’s a possibility.”

The Archers play their final Region XVI contest Wednesday at home versus Penn Valley, which beat STLCC 71-60 on Jan. 26. Albrecht said Penn Valley is a different kind of team as the Scouts like to use full-court pressure. He also said Penn Valley is one of the better jumping teams – if not the best – in the region.

“We’ll have our work cut out for us on the boards,” Albrecht said.

The tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at STLCC-Forest Park.