SALT LAKE CITY – The 18th-ranked Westminster College men’s basketball team snapped the team’s three-game losing streak with an 82-50 win over No. 10 Montana State-Northern on Saturday night in the Behnken Field House.
Westminster (14-4, 2-3 Frontier) came out determined to snap the current skid and scored the first seven points of the game. After Jordan Hayter made a layup at the 14:40 mark of the opening half, the Griffins had pushed the opening run to 11-3. MSU-Northern (16-3, 4-1) would chip away at that deficit for the next four minutes and would trail just 19-16 with 10:02 to play in the half after two free throws from Allan Brown.
Leading 25-21 with 6:15 remaining in the first half, Westminster put together a 15-3 stretch over the next five minutes that helped them to a 40-26 lead at halftime. Northern would get back within 12 early in the second half before the Griffins took the game over. Westminster would hold the Lights with just one basket over the next 12 minutes and use that to take a 26-3 run and open up a 68-33 lead with 6:23 remaining in the contest.
“I liked our approach tonight,” head coach Adam Hiatt said. “We aren’t used to losing and we came out and played like a team that was desperate to win.”
The Griffins finished the game shooting 53.3 percent from the floor after going 58.6 percent in the second half. They scored 42 points in the paint to just 18 by Northern and had a 36-31 advantage on the boards. Westminster held MSUN to 29.4 percent shooting and forced 18 turnovers which resulted in 14 Griffin points.
Blake Skidmore led four Griffins in double figures with 18 points. He was 6-of-10 from the field with five assists and four rebounds. Tallon Robertson had his second double-double of the season with 14 points and 10 rebounds while also blocking three shots. Alex Drecksel finished with 12 points and Jordan Hayter scored 11.
“Blake was outstanding tonight,” Hiatt said of the junior. “He is capable of doing that and came through with two good games this week.”
Devin Jackson led Northern with 14 points on a 5-of-11 shooting night. The team scored 15 points from 13 offensive rebounds and got 17 points from the bench.
The Griffins will return to action Thursday as they host Dickinson State (N.D.) in the Behnken Field House. The first-ever trip to Salt Lake City by DSU will begin at 7:30 p.m.