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Westminster basketball: men's team travels to California to play Merced and Pacific Union

By Josh Fisher

For the Deseret News

Published: Friday, Dec. 14 2012 1:00 p.m. MST

SALT LAKE CITY – The seventh-ranked Westminster College men’s basketball team returns to action early next week with two games in California. Westminster plays at California-Merced on Tuesday at 8 p.m. in Merced, Calif. The Griffins then play at Pacific Union (Calif.) on Wednesday in Angwin, Calif. at 8 p.m.

Westminster heads to California at 9-1 overall on the season, while riding a five-game winning streak. The Griffins haven’t played since an 84-63 win over Montana Western in the Frontier Conference opener on Dec. 1. The Griffins are 2-0 in road games this season and 4-1 in all games played away from the Behnken Field House.

Westminster is scoring 82.8 points per game on the year and has scored over 80 points seven times. The Griffins have twice scored above 90 points and only once were held below 75.

The team is shooting 48.8 percent from the floor and rank 18th in the NAIA in that category. The Griffins are 11th nationally in 3-point field goal percentage at 39.3 percent. The 1.22 assist-to-turnover ratio is 11th-best in the country and the 16 assists per game place 16th.

On the defensive end, Westminster is holding the opposition to 61.4 points per game and just 41.8 percent shooting. The team is 11th in the nation in scoring defense and 37th in field goal defense. Griffin opponents shoot 28.9 percent from beyond the arc and commit 21.5 turnovers per game. At 12.5 steals per game, Westminster ranks sixth in the NAIA and leads the country in turnover margin at 8.6.

Westminster has never played either of the opponents it will face on this road trip.

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