SALT LAKE CITY – The 19th-ranked Westminster College basketball team moved into a first-place tie in the Frontier Conference standings by knocking off No. 3 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) on Saturday night in the Behnken Field House.
Westminster has now won seven straight games and moves to 20-4 overall this season. The Griffins have now reached the 20-win plateau 12 times in school history and in each of the last 11 seasons. The Griffins tied Lewis-Clark State at 7-3 in the league and the Warriors dropped to 21-3 overall this season.
It was LCSC that got off to the quick start as it led 15-9 just over five minutes into the game. The Griffins would turn up the pressure and scored the game’s next 12 points in a 2:43 span that gave them a 21-15 lead at the 11:49 mark of the first half. After two P.J. Bolte free throws tied the game at 33-33 with 4:03 remaining, Westminster closed the half with a 16-5 run that gave them a 49-38 lead at halftime.
The Griffins would manage a 9-2 run early in the second half to open up 63-47 lead with 13:40 remaining. The Westminster lead continued to grow and it reached 87-65 with 6:22 remaining. LCSC continued to attack and used a 15-3 run to get within 90-80 at the 1:05 mark. Jordan Hayter made two freebies for the Griffins to extend the advantage to 12 and they would hold on down the stretch.
Westminster finished the game shooting 50.8 percent from the floor and finished with eight makes from beyond the arc of 15 attempts. The 53.3 percent from beyond the arc is the second-best the team has shot from deep this season. The Griffins had a 40-33 edge on the glass and they scored 21 points from 16 offensive rebounds. They recorded 16 assists and scored 16 fast break points to just 10 from the Warriors.
Tallon Robertson finished the game with his third double-double of the season with 20 points and 10 rebounds. He shot 8-of-12 from the floor and 4-of-5 at the line for his second-best scoring performance of his career. Robertson also added three assists, one block and one steal while grabbing four of his 10 boards on the offensive end.
Hayter matched his career-high with 19 points on a 6-of-9 shooting night. The senior led the team with four assists and had two rebounds and one steal. Blake Skidmore used three triples to carry him to 12 points while Jake Orchard and Jordan Bjornberg scored 10 points apiece.
LCSC got 25 points from Danny Marshall and he also led the squad with eight rebounds. His 9-for-9 shooting helped the Warriors to 46.8 percent as a team and they are the first team this season to have fewer turnovers in a game than the Griffins, 15-16.
Westminster now hits the road for three weeks and starts the trip on Feb. 9 with a visit to Montana Western in Dillon, Mont., at 7:30 p.m.
Copyright 2016, Deseret News Publishing Company