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Westminster basketball: Northern rallies by Westminster men on Senior Night

Nick Jenson (center) drives by a defender. He scored 12 points in his final home game as Westminster fell to Montana State-Northern on Saturday night in the Behnken Field House.
Nick Jenson (center) drives by a defender. He scored 12 points in his final home game as Westminster fell to Montana State-Northern on Saturday night in the Behnken Field House.
Bob McLellan

The Westminster men’s basketball team saw Montana State-Northern rally from 14 down to escape the Behnken Field House with a 58-51 win Saturday night in Frontier Conference action.

Westminster (11-14, 4-8 Frontier) came out determined to send its two seniors out with a win in their final home game by jumping out to the 19-5 lead 11 minutes into action. The Griffins were able to maintain that double-digit for most of the half by holding MSU-Northern (17-12, 6-7) to just six first half baskets and 28.6 percent shooting.

The lead was at 12 when William Walker scored underneath with 11:26 remaining before Northern started its rally. The Lights scored 10 of the game’s next 12 points to get within 43-41 with eight minutes to play. Kenny Woodard made a layup two minutes later that had the Griffin in front by six, but Northern closed the game with a 17-4 run to steal the win. The Lights held the Griffins to just two baskets in the final 5:57 of action while hitting 9-of-10 at the foul line to secure the win.

After shooting 56.5 percent from the field in the first 20 minutes, Westminster was just 8-of-21 (38.1 percent) in the second half. The Griffins only made one of their 10 attempts from beyond the arc in the game and shot 61.5 percent at the foul line with 15 turnovers.

Northern only shot 35.7 percent from the floor, but it made 22-of-24 (91.7 percent) at the stripe with six hits from three. The Lights had a 33-22 advantage on the glass with nine offensive rebounds to just two by the Griffins.

Nick Jenson led the team in scoring with 12 points in his final home game as a Griffin. He made 5-of-6 from the field and grabbed three rebounds. Woodard finished with 10 points off the bench, making all four of his attempts at the line. Senior Colton Moon added seven points and three steals to move within two steals of the Westminster career record of 164.

Warren Edmondson led Northern with 14 points, and Corbin Pearson went for 13 points and 13 rebounds.

Westminster completes the season next week with a pair of road games. The first comes Thursday in Lewiston, Idaho, against Lewis-Clark State at 8:30 p.m. MT.