SALT LAKE CITY – The 13th-ranked Westminster College men’s basketball team claimed an 83-63 win over Fort Lewis (Colo.) at the Behnken Field House in the home opener.
Westminster moves to 2-0 on the season with the win over the NCAA DII team. Fort Lewis counted the game as an exhibition.
The Griffins shot the ball well in the contest, finishing at 56.4 percent in the game. They were a blistering 59.3 percent in the second half and finished 8-of-17 (47.1%) from beyond the arc for the game. Offensively, Westminster was efficient with 14 assists, while scoring 38 points in the paint and turning seven offensive rebounds into 10 points.
The defense also came up big for the Griffins. They held FLC to just 37.7 percent shooting and only 9-of-30 (30%) after halftime. Westminster limited the Skyhawks to 3-of-21 shooting from beyond the arc, and they were 0-for-11 in the second half. The Griffins forced 20 turnovers and scored 23 points from those opportunities.
Colton Moon led Westminster with 18 points on a perfect 6-for-6 shooting night. He made all four of his attempts from beyond the arc and had three rebounds and a team-high four assists with one steal. Jake Orchard added 12 points and two steals with Tallon Robertson scoring 11 points and grabbing four rebounds.
After racing out to a 7-3 lead just minutes into the game, Westminster was outscored 13-6 over the next six minutes. After falling behind 20-15 with 8:08 to play in the first half, the Griffins put together a 9-0 run to build a 24-20 lead with 6:20 to play in the half. When Moon knocked down a three at the halftime buzzer, Westminster had a 42-33 lead and a 16-9 run to end the period.
Fort Lewis would trim the deficit to 52-45 early in the second half before a 14-5 Griffins stretch built the advantage to 66-50 with 7:45 to play. FLC wouldn’t get closer than 13 the rest of the way, and Westminster sealed the win with a 10-2 run once the game was under four minutes to play.
Nick Tomsick and Marcus Ayala led the Skyhawks with 12 points apiece. Wes McKenzie added eight points, and Alex Herrera grabbed a team-best six rebounds.
Westminster will return to the Behnken Field House on Saturday when it hosts Western State (Colo.) at 7 p.m. The game follows a 5 p.m. contest between Montana Western and Fort Lewis.