Westminster men’s basketball came up short and was unable to defeat the Fort Lewis Skyhawks (22-5, 18-4 RMAC) for the 2017-18 RMAC regular season championship. The Griffins finished 17-5 in the RMAC record and 21-5 overall.
Dayon Goodman, the RMAC leading scorer, got into foul trouble early and went to the bench after three minutes into the game. Fort Lewis took advantage and made a 12-5 run and a seven-point lead. The Griffins finished the half scoring 22 points and cutting the home side’s lead to five.
Quincy Bair scored 10 for the Griffins, and the team shot 43.5 percent from the field, making 4-of-10 from 3-point range and going 5-of-7 from the free-throw line.
Westminster traded a couple of baskets back and forth with Fort Lewis to start the second half. Six turnovers and three missed shots in the next 13 Griffin possessions allowed Fort Lewis to build a 10-point lead with 10:44 remaining.
During the next six minutes, Bair got hot and scored 13 points as Westminster outscored the home side, 19-10, cutting the Skyhawk’s lead to one. Missed opportunities and turnovers proved too much as the Skyhawks finished the game on an 11-4 run, winning 75-67.
Westminster finished the game shooting 50.0 percent from the field, making 9-of-17 from beyond the arc and making 14-of-18 from the free-throw line. The Griffins pulled down 26 rebounds, blocked two shots and tallied one steal. They gave up six turnovers for 19 points.
Bair led the Griffins and set a season and career high scoring 33 points. He made 10-of-13 from the field and was perfect from beyond the arc, 5-of-5, as well as perfect from the charity stripe, 8-of-8.
Goodman scored 16 points, collected nine rebounds and dished out three assists.
The Griffins finish tied with Regis (17-5) but finish third on RMAC tie-breaker rules, determined by win percentage. The program is in its third provisional year of the NCAA II membership process, transitioning from NAIA, and is not eligible for the RMAC or NCAA tournaments.
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.