Westminster basketball: No. 3 Griffins stay home for final time of the regular season this week

By Josh Fisher

For the Deseret News

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 12 2014 3:45 p.m. MST

The third-ranked Westminster College women’s basketball team closes out the home portion of the regular season with a pair of games in the Behnken Field House this week. Westminster welcomes Great Falls to town Thursday before facing No. 19 Montana State-Northern on Saturday. Both games will begin at 5:30 p.m. MST, with the senior class being honored following Saturday’s game.

Westminster enters the final four games of the regular season at 18-2 overall and a perfect 12-0 in Frontier Conference action. The Griffins have clinched one of the six spots in the upcoming conference tournament and need one win to earn a bye into the semifinals. They have gone 9-0 at home this season and have won 21 straight home games dating back to last season.

Westminster continues to lead the NAIA in 3-point shooting by connecting on 41.7 percent from beyond the arc. The Griffins make an average of 8.05 threes per game to place 10th in the NAIA, and they are 14th with a total of 161 made treys. The Griffins score 70.75 points per game, and they lead the Frontier and place second in the nation by shooting 46.9 percent from the field.

The Griffins have been stellar at the defensive end all season as they hold the opposition to 53.85 points per game. They place second in the country in scoring defense, which helps them rank 10th in scoring margin at 16.90 points per game. Westminster is tops in the country by allowing the opposition just 29.5 rebounds per game, and it forces 16.55 turnovers per contest.

Alli Blake is the team’s top scorer at 13.65 points per game, and she is ninth in the NAIA by shooting 54.8 percent. Blake also leads the squad with 91 assists, and her 4.55 assists per game average ranks 19th in the country. Tia Pappas averages 11.05 points and ranks 17th in the NAIA at 2.55 steals per game. Shelby Ellsworth is scoring 10.45 points, while leading the team by grabbing 5.80 rebounds per contest.

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