SALT LAKE CITY – The 13th-ranked Westminster College men’s basketball team got hot from beyond the arc early and rode the shooting to a 95-53 win over Western State (Colo.) on Saturday night in the Behnken Field House.
Westminster (3-0) finished the evening with 17 made threes and shot 51.5% from beyond the arc. The 17 makes are the second most by the team in school history, falling one shy of the record 18 set in 2006. Freshman Jordan Pryor finished the game with seven made triples, which fell one shy of the record nine made by Jordan Jacobs during a 2008 contest.
The Griffins shot 46 percent from the field in the game and had more 3-point baskets than 2-point baskets, 17-12. They shot 58.1 percent from the floor in the second half and 56.3 from beyond the arc after halftime. The offense was in system all night as the Griffins recorded 20 assists and only 10 turnovers and got 22 points in the paint.
Defensively, Westminster limited Western State, a NCAA DII team, to just 38.3 percent shooting and held them to just seven first half buckets. The Griffins forced 27 turnovers and turned them into 38 points. Westminster finished with 19 steals in the game to rank second in a game in school history.
Pryor finished the game with a career-high 23 points on 7-of-10 shooting all from beyond the arc. After making back-to-back threes late in the first half, Pryor hit five triples in the second half. Four of those five came during a 14-4 run by the Griffins late in the contest.
After making all six of his shots last night, Colton Moon came back by hitting his first four shots tonight. He finished the game with 18 points on 6-of-9 shooting, all on threes. Moon made five of those threes during 11-minute stretch in the first half in which the Griffins outscored the Mountaineers, 21-8. Moon also added four assists and six steals.
Jake Orchard finished the game with 19 points, five steals and three assists. He now needs just 17 points to become the ninth 1,000-point scorer in school history. Alex Drecksel gave the Griffins four players in double figures with his 11 points.
The Griffins took control of the game midway through the first half and into the second half when they turned a 20-12 lead into a 55-18 advantage. The 38-6 run started with a three by Moon at the 9:31 mark of the first half and featured eight threes through the end of the run at the 17:16 mark of the second half.
Jordan Adams and Terrance Boyd led Western State with 12 points apiece. Charles Joseph added 10 points and 11 rebounds. Western State counted this game as an exhibition.
Westminster will now hit the road for the next two weeks starting Friday when it faces Vanguard (Calif.) at 3 p.m. in Las Vegas.