In what was tabbed as the NAIA Game of the Week, the third-ranked Westminster College women’s basketball team pulled out a 70-68 win over No. 14 Lewis-Clark State on Saturday night in the Frontier Conference.
Westminster moved one game ahead of Lewis-Clark State in the standings with the win as it improve to 8-0 in league play this season. The Griffins have won seven straight overall and sit at 14-2 on the year.
Lewis-Clark State (20-2, 7-1 Frontier) took a 20-9 advantage with 7:38 in the opening half behind an 11-2 run in which it shot 5-of-6 from the floor and forced the Griffins into two turnovers and 1-of-4 shooting. Westminster turned things around and closed the half by outscoring the Warriors, 15-3, to lead 24-23 at intermission. During the run, the Griffins made six of their 10 field goal attempts while holding LC to 1-for-9.
The Griffins would get six second-half threes, including three on consecutive possession by Alli Winters, to help them take the lead. Five straight points from Shelby Ellsworth put the Griffins in front, 48-47, at the 7:59 mark, and they would never trail again. Amy Krommenhoek made a three with 1:59 to play that gave the Griffins their largest lead of the night, 61-56, and then Tia Pappas and Alli Blake combined for eight straight free throws to seal the victory.
Blake finished the night with a game-high 22 points for her third 20-point performance of the season. She went 7-of-13 from the field and 8-of-10 at the foul line, while also grabbing six rebounds with five assists. Ellsworth finished with her second double-double of the year with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Pappas added 12 points, six rebounds and three assists.
Westminster shot 43.1 percent from the field with 22 points in the paint. It made seven of its16 attempted threes in the game to finish at 43.8 percent and also connected on 19-of-23 free throws. The Griffins had a 39-31 edge on the boards with nine points from nine offensive rebounds.
LC State finished the game at 42.9 percent shooting but was only 6-of-24 from beyond the arc. While Westminster finished the game with 13 turnovers, it only had four in the second half and the Warriors only got nine points from those miscues.
Caelyn Orlandi led LC State with 20 points, and she made three of the team’s six triples. Brittaney Niebergall added 16 points and six assists with Tanis Fuller scoring 14.
The Griffins will now hit the road for a pair of games next week. They open the trip Thursday at Dickinson State in a game that will tip at 5 p.m. MST.