SALT LAKE CITY – The 19th-ranked Westminster College men’s basketball team earned a season sweep of Rocky Mountain (Mont.) with an 85-71 win on Thursday evening in the Behnken Field House.
Westminster is now 19-4 on the season and has won six straight games. The Griffins mprove to 6-3 in Frontier Conference action and into a tie for second place with Montana State-Northern. Rocky Mountain drops to 13-11 overall and 4-6 in the Frontier.
Trailing 11-10 a little over five minutes into the game, the Griffins put together a 10-2 run that gave them a lead that they wouldn’t surrender the rest of the night. Rocky got back to within 33-29 with 6:07 to play in the half before a 16-5 run over the next four minutes helped Westminster to a 49-35 lead at halftime.
The Griffins shot 55.9 percent from the floor in the first half and made 19 baskets to just eight from the visitors. Rocky stayed in the game by going 16-of-20 at the foul line in the first half. Rocky mounted a 17-7 run midway through the second half to cut the Griffin lead to 63-58 with 9:37 remaining. Westminster put the game away with a 13-2 run over the next 4:30.
Westminster finished the game at 49.2 percent from the floor and outscored Rocky 50-28 in the paint. The Griffins had 12 offensive rebounds which resulted in 13 second chance points and they had a 25-18 advantage in bench scoring. Rocky shot just 38.8 percent from the floor and had 17 turnovers which resulted in 20 Griffin points.
Alex Drecksel came up with his second consecutive double-double as he finished with 16 points and 12 rebounds. He grabbed five boards on the offensive end and also had three blocks and one steal. Jake Orchard and Tallon Robertson finished with 17 points apiece and combined to shoot 15-of-25 from the floor. Orchard added three assists and three steals with Robertson grabbing six rebounds. Jordan Pryor made two triples and finished with 12 points off the bench.
Joel Barndt led Rocky with 17 points and nine rebounds. Jeremy Nicolas added 16 points and seven boards while Matt Strickland added 11 points.
The Griffins now move to a Saturday showdown with No. 3 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho). The action will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Behnken Field House.
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