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Westminster basketball: Westminster returns to action at Jersey Mike’s Holiday Classic

SALT LAKE CITY – The fourth-ranked Westminster College women’s basketball team will shake off the holiday rust with a pair of games this weekend at the 2013 Jersey Mike’s Holiday Classic hosted by The Master’s College. Westminster begins the classic Friday with an 8 p.m. MST contest against Hope International (Calif.). The Griffins will then close out the trip Saturday against 12th-ranked The Master’s (Calif.) at 8 p.m. MST.

Both games of the weekend will be streamed live online and have live stats available.

The Griffins will return to the hardwood at 6-1 overall this season and 1-0 in Frontier Conference play. They have won two straight games, including a 76-63 win at College of Idaho on Dec. 14. Westminster is 3-1 in road games with Friday’s game marking the first neutral site game of the season. It has split two games against ranked opponents and 2-1 versus teams from the Golden State Athletic Conference, which is the home of both teams on this week’s agenda.

Westminster is scoring 69.3 points per game while ranking fifth in the NAIA by shooting 46.5 percent from the floor. The Griffins lead the nation in 3-point field goal percentage by making 44.8 percent of their attempts from deep. The Griffins rank fourth in the country with an average of 9.29 treys per game, and they place 13th by recording 17 assists per night. The team has a 1.54 assist-to-turnover ratio which in currently second-best in the NAIA.

On the defensive end, Westminster is allowing 57.6 points per game and ranks ninth in the nation in that department. Griffin opponents shoot 39.6 percent from the field and 31.3 percent from beyond the arc. Westminster limits the opposition to 31.1 rebounds per game to rank sixth nationally. The Griffins are forcing 14.3 turnovers per game with an average of 7.14 steals per contest.

Four Griffins are currently averaging double figures in scoring entering the weekend with Shelby Ellsworth leading the way at 12.4 points per game. Alli Blake is adding 11.7 points per outing with Amy Krommenhoek scoring 10.6 per game. Alli Winters is up to 10 points per game. Tia Pappas leads the team with 41 rebounds and 12 steals, while Blake is tops with 32 assists.