Westminster (8-8, 7-5 RMAC) fell to Black Hills State (15-4, 9-4 RMAC), 58-38. The Griffins only trailed by six points at halftime, but turnovers and shooting 23.1 percent from the field allowed the Yellow Jackets to extend their lead and defeat Westminster.
First quarter turnovers proved costly for the Griffins against Black Hills State. Westminster turned the ball over six times and the Yellow Jackets turned those turnovers into 11 points and a 10-point lead. Siciliee Williams scored two free throws and Haddi Williams scored a layup on a fast break to end the half trailing 15-9.
"We got a little rattled at the start and struggled finding a way to get settled and finding points in the paint," head coach Shelley Jarrard remarked.
The home side began the second quarter with an 11-2 run and a 15-point lead. The Griffins responded with an 11-point run started by two Williams's 3-pointers and ending with a Williams layup. The Westminster run ended the half and Westminster trailed 26-22.
At halftime the two teams looked pretty even on the stat sheet. Westminster was 38.1 percent from the field, 4-of-8 from three and 2-of-3 from the free-throw line. The Yellow Jackets shot 32.3 percent from the field, 1-of-7 from beyond the arc and 3-of-7 from the free-throw line.
The ball wouldn't drop for Westminster in the third and fourth quarters, as Westminster shot 23.1 percent from the field and was outscored, 16 to 32, for a final score of 58-38.
"Haddi was a bright spot and, at one point, we had five freshmen on the court. Black Hills plays great defense and we just weren't able to counter them tonight," Jarrard recounted.
Williams posted her first career double-double, scoring 17 points and collecting 10 rebounds. She was perfect from beyond the arc on three attempts and shot 70.0 percent from the field, making 7-of-10.
Westminster plays South Dakota School of Mines and Technology on Saturday at 1 p.m. The game will be broadcast on the RMAC Network and available to follow via live stats.
Eric Stephens is the Director of Athletic Communications and Events for Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Utah. Westminster is a provisional member of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference at the NCAA Division II level.