PORTLAND, Ore. -- Three free throws by freshman Andrew Vickers put the Lewis & Clark Pioneers ahead for the first time, 90-89, with 1:30 remaining in the game, but Warner Pacific rallied back as the Pios lost 94-93 in their season opener at CC Perry Gym on Tuesday night.
Vickers was fouled on a 3-point shot and made all of his free throws to cap off a 14-point performance to begin his career. His effort followed four second-half 3-pointers by Kyle Owens that helped the Pios overcome a 19-point deficit in the second half. Owens finished as one of six Pioneers with double figures.
"We were chipping away at the lead the entire game," said Owens, who had 16 points and went 5 of 6 from 3-point range. "The whole team rallied together. It was tough in the end, but it was close."
Lewis & Clark went on several runs in the second half including a 13-4 stretch to close to within 69-60 after Nico Bricker's successful basket on which he was fouled and made a free throw with 12:09 remaining. The Knights answered back and built the lead back up to 15 before the Pioneers held Warner Pacific without a field goal for over four minutes. Trailing 89-87, Vickers was fouled and hit three free throws to give the Pioneers their first lead.
"The freshman class is really special. We knew they were a big thing coming in," said Owens. "They did a lot for us this game and we're really excited about the rest of the season with them."
Bricker finished with 11 points on 5 of 6 shooting. Zeke Crawford scored four of his six points in the second half and had a total of eight rebounds, a game-high.
Warner Pacific (1-1) built a 22-6 lead under eight minutes into the game, but Lewis & Clark (0-1) never lost sight of the Knights. Back-to-back 3-pointers from Markel Leonard helped the Pios stay in the game before the half. Leonard had eight first-half points to lead Lewis & Clark in the first half and finished with 14 points.
Cannen Roberson had 16 points, 12 of which came in the second half and Jonathan Boddie added 11. In his official debut, sophomore Ryan Stewart played five minutes but didn't take a shot.
Lewis & Clark plays at NCAA Division I Portland on Friday and opens the home season against Claremont Mudd-Scripps on Saturday at 7 p.m.
Other Northwest Conference Scores - Tuesday
Puget Sound 117, Northwest Indian 41