Westminster basketball: big night from Yazzie moves Griffins within one game of title

By Josh Fisher

For the Deseret News

Published: Friday, Feb. 15 2013 10:15 p.m. MST

GREAT FALLS, Mont. – The fourth-ranked Westminster College women’s basketball team moved one step closer to a fifth straight Frontier Conference regular season championship with a 70-42 win over Great Falls (Mont.) on Friday night in the McLaughlin Center.

Westminster improved to 23-2 overall this season and remains perfect in league play at 12-0. The Griffins are now one win shy of clinching the conference title for a fifth consecutive season. Great Falls drops to 14-14 and 4-10 in the league with the loss.

Playing on regional television for the first time in school history, the Griffins started the game quickly for the Altitude Sports Network audience. Less than 10 minutes into the contest, it was 22-4 for Westminster and would grow the lead to 30-9 in the half. UGF would make a push to close the half and trailed 34-23 at intermission.

Just to make sure the game was out of reach, Westminster scored the first 12 points of the second half to lead by 23 with 16:22 left in the game. The Griffins would maintain a 20-point cushion throughout the rest of the half, and the 28-point final margin was the largest lead of the game.

The Griffins finished the evening shooting 44.8 percent from the field and were 51.7 percent in the second half. They made four treys and held a 36-32 edge on the glass. Westminster held UGF to 30.2 percent shooting and scored 23 points from 19 Argonauts turnovers.

Nicole Yazzie finished with a game-high 23 points. Her second-highest scoring night of the season was aided by three triples and a career-best 10 made field goals. The senior guard also added seven assists and matched her career-best with six steals. Cydney Tibbitts added 10 points and nine rebounds, while Kelsi Wells had 10 and eight.

Lindsey Abramson and Erin Legel led UGF with nine points apiece. Abramson and Kindra Jones grabbed nine boards each.

Westminster will take its first shot at clinching the regular season title on Saturday when it faces Montana State-Northern at 5:30 p.m. in Havre, Mont.

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