Warriors fall to hot-shooting Westminster
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah - The Lewis-Clark State College women's basketball team has played some of its most memorable games here recently against Westminster. Unfortunately for LCSC, those games have been in the postseason, not the regular season.
Saturday night was one of those forgettable regular-season nights for the Warriors as they fell to the Griffins 88-59 in a battle of NAIA Top 25-ranked teams. LCSC, ranked No. 5, falls to 3-2 in Frontier Conference play and 17-3 overall, while No. 13 Westminster improves to 4-1 and 17-4.
In the past two seasons, LCSC has lost at Westminster during the regular season, including once by 31 points, but has won the conference tournament title both season by defeating the Griffins on their home court.
Saturday night's contest was pretty much decided in the first half when Westminster both started and finished strong to take control of the contest. Westminster scored the first eight points of the game, but an eventual 9-0 run by LCSC gave it a brief 18-16 advantage on a 3-pointer by Madison Mendezona. That was, however, the only time LCSC had the lead in the game.
The Griffins responded with their own 9-0 run and kept rolling from there. Westminster led 46-31 at halftime, the largest halftime deficit LCSC has faced this season along with the most first-half points it has allowed. In four victories this season, LCSC didn't allow 46 points in the game.
A key for the Griffins in the first half was their 3-point shooting. Westminster hit 7-of-12 3-pointers in the opening 20 minutes and then also had a 21-14 rebounding advantage, which led to a 10-2 margin in second-chance points.
The second half was more of the same as the Warriors were unable to cut the lead to single digits. Westminster took a 20-point lead about halfway through the second half and its largest lead of the night was the final margin.
The Griffins finished 11-of-23 from the 3-point line in compiling the most points allowed by LCSC this season. The Griffins also made 25-of-28 free throws, including 16-of-18 in the second half.
LCSC, which shot a respectable 17-of-22 at the foul line, was only 6-of-22 from the 3-point line and 18-of-63, 28.6 percent accuracy, from the field.
Junior post Alyssa Fierro was one of the bright spots for the Warriors with 14 points, 12 rebounds, and seven blocked shots. Jasmine Stohr added 11 points, while Mendezona added 10.
Six Westminster players finished in double figures, led by Brooke Larsen's 15 points. Nicole Yazzi added 14 points, while Allie Eastman added 13 points and 11 rebounds. Michelle Pace, Jenteal Jackson and Dani Evans had 12 apiece. Jackson also had seven assists, four rebounds, and three steals.
LCSC wraps up the first half of conference play at home this week when it plays host to Montana State-Northern on Thursday and Great Falls on Saturday. Both games tip off at 6 p.m. at the LCSC Activity Center.