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Westminster basketball: winning streak snapped with 52-43 loss at Carroll

By Josh Fisher

For the Deseret News

Published: Thursday, Feb. 21 2013 8:03 p.m. MST

HELENA, Mont. – The third-ranked Westminster College women’s basketball team saw its 16-game winning streak come to an end with a 52-43 loss at Carroll (Mont.) on Thursday night in Frontier Conference action.

Westminster suffers a loss for the first time since Dec. 8 and drops to 24-3 overall this season. The Griffins also saw their school-record 22-game conference winning streak halted. Carroll moves to 18-8 overall and 12-3 in the league with the win.

It was a tough start to the game for the Griffins which led to just 33.3 percent shooting in the first half. They would trail 20-19 at intermission and were out-rebounded 19-12. Carroll grabbed seven of those boards on the offensive end and turned them into eight points. Nicole Yazzie and Cydney Tibbitts kept Westminster in the game, scoring 13 of the team’s 19 first-half points.

After Westminster tied the game at 28-28 with 10:20 remaining, Carroll scored the game’s next seven points to open up a 35-28 advantage with 7:33 to play. Tibbitts and Tia Pappas made layups of the next two Griffin possessions to cut the deficit to three with just over six minutes. Joey O’Neill would make a jumper in the lane then finish two free throws to give Carroll its seven-point lead back with 4:21 left in the second half.

Pappas layup from Larsen at 2:45 got it back to six and came on just the second assist of the game for the Griffins. Tibbitts would grab an offensive rebound and then make one of two freebies to make it 41-36 with 2:01 left. A hoop from Jordan Bagley with just over a minute pushed the lead back to seven and sealed the win for Carroll as the team made their free throws down the stretch.

The Griffins also saw their streak of 162 consecutive games with a made three come to an end as they finished 0-of-12 from beyond the arc. That marked the first time since a loss to Carroll at the 2008 Frontier Conference Tournament that happened. The poor shooting from deep led to just 29.4 percent shooting from the field, the second-lowest of the year.

Tibbitts led the Griffins with 16 points on a 5-of-9 shooting night. She also grabbed nine rebounds and added two steals. Pappas chipped in 11 points and five rebounds while Yazzie finished with nine points. Brooke Larsen hauled in eight rebounds to go with five points.

Torrie Cahill led Carroll with 17 points with O’Neill adding 11 points and seven rebounds. Carroll shot just 36.4 percent from the field and had 16 turnovers.

Westminster will look to close out the regular season with the win on Saturday when it hosts Montana Tech in the Behnken Field House at 5:30 p.m. It will be Senior Night for the Griffins with a ceremony honoring them following the game.

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