Game 2 of the NWAC Elite 8 Men’s Basketball Championship Tournament matchup featured the #2 seed from the South Region, the Linn-Benton Community College Road Runners vs. the defending NWAC Men’s Champions and #1 seed from the East Region, the Walla Walla Community College Warriors.
The first 8 minutes saw each team score a total of just 10 points combined as both teams defensively made it is extremely difficult for the their opponent to get any type of offensive flow.
WWCC then went on an 8-0 run to take an 11-7 lead forcing the Road Runners to take a timeout.
Following the timeout, LBCC tied the score, but then the Warriors built 42-35 lead going into half time. It was a very physical first half with both teams defending the 3-point line well, as they shot a combined 25% from the 3-point line.
The second half saw the Road Runners chip away at the deficit to take the lead for the first time since five minutes into the first half. LBCC continued to defend and got out in transition and went on to outscore the Warriors 35-19 to take a 70-61 lead with 7:18 to go in the second half.
The Warriors never got closer than 4 points the rest of the way. Linn-Benton’s defense forced the Warriors into 19% shooting from the 3-point lined and 33% overall from the floor.
The Road Runners had 5 players in double figures lead by Trent Van Cleave and Bailey Evers with 17 points each, Cooper Getsfrid with 15 points and Taylor Jensen with 13 points. In the second half the RoadRunners shot 94.7% from the foul line converting 18-19 attempts.
Linn-Benton plays next week in the Final 4 of the NWAC Men’s Basketball Championship Tournament at 2pm vs. the Peninsula Pirates.