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Westminster basketball: Griffin men defeat LC State, 67-62, for second-straight win

Quincy Bair (center) goes up for the layup. Bair scored 22 points as Westminster claimed a 67-62 win over Lewis-Clark State on Saturday night.
Quincy Bair (center) goes up for the layup. Bair scored 22 points as Westminster claimed a 67-62 win over Lewis-Clark State on Saturday night.
Bob McLellan

The Westminster men’s basketball team played its way back into the mix in the Frontier Conference with a 67-62 win over Lewis-Clark State on Saturday night in the Behnken Field House.

With its second-straight win, Westminster moves to 10-10 overall and into a four-way tie for fourth place in the conference after the first half of the conference season.

“I thought this was a great effort by our guys tonight,” Westminster head coach Adam Hiatt said. “They gave a solid effort all night.”

For the second-straight game, the Griffins jumped out to a big early lead. They outscored Lewis-Clark State (17-6, 3-4 Frontier), 13-4, in the first eight minutes and forced the visitors into a 1-of-10 start from the field. LC state cut the deficit to 15-12 with 8:11 left in the half before Kenny Woodard made a pair of threes to spark an 11-5 burst by the Griffins. Westminster took a 31-25 lead in halftime by shooting 47.8 percent from the field and holding the Warriors to just nine baskets.

Westminster then opened the second half with 10 of the period’s first 13 points to build its largest lead of the night, 41-28, with 17:40 remaining. That is when LC State started to chip away behind four threes from Gavin Kauffman. LC State mounted a 21-9 run that had it in front, 58-54, with 4:00 on the clock.

Jordan Pryor buried a three on the next Griffins possession to start a 7-0 run for the Griffins that put them back in front for good. Westminster closed the game with 13 of the final 17 points — five from Pryor — and it forced three Warrior turnovers in the final 3:45.

Quincy Bair and Pryor finished with 22 and 19 points, respectively, to lead the Griffins. Bair scored his 22 on 7-of-11 shooting, and he made four of his six attempts from beyond the arc. Pryor scored 15 of this 19 points in the second half, and he added five rebounds.

Westminster finished the game shooting 46 percent from the floor and making 10-of-23 (43.5 percent) from beyond the arc. The Griffins had a 30-28 edge in rebounds and totaled 13 assists and 12 turnovers. LC State shot 48 percent from the field — 57.7 percent in the second half — with 15 turnovers for 15 Westminster points.

Woodard finished with eight points off the bench, making two free throws with the Griffins up three with 15 seconds to play. Colton Moon and Casey Evans added five points and three steals each.

LC State had three players score in double figures with Kauffman leading the way with his 12 off the bench. Erick Diouf added 11 points, and Brady Bagby had 10.

The Griffins open the second half of league play Thursday when they travel to Billings, Montana, for a 7:30 p.m. MT contest at Rocky Mountain.