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Westminster basketall: Griffins fall at Mines, 70-64

The Westminster men’s basketball team surrendered a 10-point first half lead and fell at Colorado School of Mines, 70-64, on Friday afternoon at Lockridge Arena.

Westminster (4-5, 4-3 RMAC) capped a 16-4 run with a Jarred Laws three with 5:33 remaining in the first half to lead 27-17. The Griffins largest lead of the game was quickly erased as Colorado Mines (10-3, 4-2) closed the half with 16 of the final 20 points to lead 33-31 at halftime.

Zerrion Payton connected on a three to tie the game at 38-38 with 16:27 remaining before the Orediggers ran off a 15-6 run in the following 6:22 to open their largest lead of the game at 53-44. They held that advantage the rest of the game despite the Griffins getting within two on two different occasions. The second of those scenarios came on a Payton jumper with 3:30 to play that was countered with a Luke Schroepfer triple to put the lead back to five.

Westminster shot 46.2 percent from the field on the day and held Mines to just 37.3 percent. However, the Orediggers were 10-of-24 from beyond the arc, while the Griffins made just 4-of-16. Mines also hit 88.9 percent at the foul line to only 63.2 from the Griffins.

Eight different Griffins scored at least five points in the loss. Payton led the team with 11 points and nine rebounds. He also added three assists, one steal and one blocked shot.

The Griffins tallied 17 assists on 24 made baskets and committed only 10 turnovers. Mines won the boards, 34-33, and scored 11 points from 10 offensive rebounds.

Marcus Bryce added 10 points and two blocks in defeat. Dayon Goodman scored eight points with seven rebounds, seven assists and two blocks.

Mines finished the game with 16 assists and eight turnovers, but the Griffins scored 10 points from those takeaways.

Schroepfer led the Orediggers with 22 points behind 3-of-6 from deep. Gokul Natesan added 15 and Zach Rusk scored 12.

Westminster now returns home to host a pair of RMAC games next weekend in the Behnken Field House. The Griffins welcome Colorado Christian to town on Jan. 6. That game starts at 7 p.m. MST – 30 minutes earlier than normal Westminster home games.