By: Josh Fisher, Westminster (Utah) Sports Information Director
LEWISTON, Idaho – The No. 3 Westminster College women’s basketball team picked up a huge 67-65 win at No. 16 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) on Thurs. night and moved one game away from the second perfect conference season in school history.
Westminster (21-2, 15-0 Frontier) trailed by five with 1:29 remaining on the clock when senior Alli Blake took over. Blake scored six of the Griffins final eight points and sparked a 8-1 run over the final 79 seconds to secure the Griffins 14th-straight victory. She capped the run by going coast-to-coast from a rebound of a missed Brittany Niebergall free throw and then hitting a jumper in the paint with four seconds to play.
That hoop completed a rally from 10 down twice in the second half and set Westminster up to record the first undefeated season in Frontier Conference play since the 2008-09 campaign. The Griffins trailed 51-41 at the 12:29 mark of the second half before putting together a 14-2 run to take the lead and eventually set-up the final minutes.
Blake finished the game with 27 points on 10-of-19 shooting. This is the second time in three games she has scored 27 points and the fifth time this season she was over 20 in a game. She also grabbed a Westminster season-high 14 rebounds and handed out seven assists.
It wasn’t a great shooting night for the Griffins as they made just 34.9 percent in the game. They also struggled from beyond the arc where they finished 5-of-23 (21.7%), their second-worst percentage from deep this season. The Griffins were still able to overcome a night that saw Lewis-Clark State (24-4, 11-3) shoot 41.8 percent from the field with only five turnovers. LC State also went 13-of-15 at the foul line, but both misses came from Niebergall in the final 1:29.
Tia Pappas would add 15 points and nine rebounds for Westminster. Shelby Ellsworth finished with 10 points and nine rebounds and made two crucial free throws during the closing run.
Tanis Fuller scored 18 points to lead the Warriors who have secured the No. 2 position for the upcoming Frontier Conference Tournament. Niebergall finished with 17 points and six assists.
The Griffins will close the regular season and look for that perfect conference mark on Sat. when they play at Montana Tech. The game will begin at 5:30 p.m. MST from Sampson Court.