Westminster basketball: defense carries Griffins to 14th straight win

By Josh Fisher

For the Deseret News

Published: Saturday, Feb. 9 2013 9:41 p.m. MST

DILLON, Mont. — The fifth-ranked Westminster College women’s basketball team continued its excellence on the defensive end with a 45-28 win over Montana Western on Saturday night in Frontier Conference play.

Westminster has now won 14 straight games and are 22-2 overall this season. The Griffins remain perfect in league play at 11-0 and are one win shy of clinching a bye in the first round of the Frontier Conference Tournament. Montana Western falls to 12-14 and 4-8 with the loss.

The Griffins scored the first nine points of the game as they raced out to a 15-4 lead less than eight minutes into the night. Western would get a hoop from Kelsey Callaghan to make it 15-6 with 10:51 remaining in the half and then they only scored one point the remainder of the half as the Griffins led 20-7 at halftime.

The 28 points allowed by the Griffins sets a new school record for fewest points allowed in a game. This is the second time this season they have held an opponent to less than 10 points in a half. They limited Westmont (Calif.) to a school record six points in a win in December. The Griffins have now held 13 straight opponents to 50 points or less and have held seven to less than 40 points.

Westminster shot 45 percent from the field and had five makes from beyond the arc. The Griffins held a 32-22 lead on the boards and finished with 16 points in the paint. They limited Western to 26.8 percent shooting and scored 13 points from 13 turnovers.

Nicole Yazzie led the team in scoring with 11 points, and she added three rebounds and three assists. Allie Eastman scored 10 points, while Kelsi Wells and Tia Pappas had seven points apiece. Cydney Tibbitts had four points and a team-best nine rebounds.

Sammi Bignell and Roxanne Thurman finished with six points each to lead Western.

The Griffins will return to play on Friday when they face Great Falls (Mont.) on the road. The game will be carried live on the Altitude Sports Network with a 5:30 p.m. tipoff.

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