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Westminster basketball: Griffins take advantage of Carroll turnovers in 96-82 win

By Josh Fisher

For the Deseret News

Published: Saturday, Feb. 8 2014 10:24 p.m. MST

The Westminster College men’s basketball team flirted with 100 points for a second straight game before eventually defeating Carroll, 96-82, in a Frontier Conference game in the Behnken Field House on Saturday night.

Westminster (15-10, 8-4 Frontier) used a 10-4 run early in the first half to take a lead it wouldn’t surrender the rest of the night. Carroll (7-17, 2-10) got within two on a few different occasions, but it had no answer for the Griffins’ Blake Skidmore. He finished the half with 22 points, including a runner at the buzzer to give Westminster a 52-44 lead heading into intermission.

Carroll stayed within seven to nine points for much of the second half thanks to its 71.4 percent shooting after the break. After Chris McGrath made a three with 6:00 on the clock, the Griffins put together an 18-4 run to push to an 18 point lead with 55.4 seconds left in the game. Tallon Robertson scored seven points during the run, and the Griffins forced Carroll into three turnovers.

Turnovers were the key to the game as Westminster used 15 miscues by the visitors to help it to a 29-6 edge in points from turnovers. The Griffins only committed five turnovers, and they shot 56.5 percent from the field with 48 points in the paint. They also scored 13 points from 11 offensive rebounds to help overcome a 69.4 percent shooting night by Carroll.

Skidmore finished the game with 28 points for his eighth 20-points game of the season. He went 10-of-16 from the field and made six of his 10 attempts from beyond the arc. Robertson notched his fifth 20-point game in the last six outings with 25 points on 8-of-12 shooting. He was perfect on all nine of his free throw attempts while grabbing five rebounds, two assists and one steal.

Nick Jenson provided a spark with 15 points and three rebounds while Qunicy Bair added 12 points, three rebounds and two assists. Jordan Pryor added eight points with a pair of treys off the bench.

Chris McGrath led Carroll with 23 points. Zach Taylor added 18 points and seven assists, but he only scored four points in the second half.

Westminster finishes the weekend in third place in the Frontier Conference and sits one game behind Rocky Mountain and Montana State-Northern for the top spot. The Griffins will be back in action Thursday when they welcome Great Falls to the Behnken Field House for a 7:30 p.m. MST tip.

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