Westminster Ranked No. 7, Highest Ranking in School History
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Josh Fisher (801)832-2890
December 3, 2008
The Griffins begin an eight-game trip away from the Behnken Field House this week. They are off to Durango, Colorado for two games against teams from the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, an NCAA DII conference. The trip opens on Friday, December 5 against Western State. On Saturday, December 6 they take on Fort Lewis.
Westminster will take a perfect 9-0 record and a school-best No. 7 national ranking on the road with them. The 9-0 start is the best in school history and the nine straight wins is the third-best streak ever. The 2006-07 team won 10 straight while the 2000-01 squad ran 13 wins together.
Westminster is averaging 79.2 points per game and is shooting 53.7 percent from the floor. They have shot above 50 percent in seven games so far this season and above 60 percent three times. Westminster opponents shoot just 38.7 percent and only 23.3 percent from beyond the arc.
Geoff Payne is the team’s leading scorer at 19.7 points, and leading rebounder at 6.1 per night. Payne is also fourth in the country in field goal percentage, making 64.7 percent of his attempts. Wes Anderson is second in scoring, putting up 9.9 points per game off the bench. Jordan Jacobs is third at 9.7 points and leads the team with 38 assists and 19 makes from beyond the arc.
Scouting Western State
Western State comes into the week with a 3-1 record and riding a three-game winning streak. They went 2-0 last weekend at the Holiday Classic in Grand Junction, Colorado, claiming wins against Colorado College and Johnson & Wales.
Through four games Western State is averaging 77.2 points per game and shooting 45.0 percent from the field. They connect on just 32.7 percent from beyond the arc and only 56.6 at the charity stripe. The Mountaineers are outrebounded by 2.2 per game on average and commit 12.3 turnovers a night.
Cameron Burney leads the squad in scoring and rebounds at 16.5 points and 7.3 boards per game. He shoots 48.9 percent and is 10-of-23 from beyond the arc. Justin Avalos is averaging 14.5 points and leads the team with 14 makes from distance. Jeremy Brooks (9.8) and Allen McFarland (9.3) are third and fourth in scoring.
Inside the Western State Series
Westminster will be facing Western State for the fourth time in school history on Friday. The Griffins are 3-0 all-time in the series. The two teams last met on November 22, 2003, a 75-65 win by Westminster.
Scouting Fort Lewis
Fort Lewis carries a 4-2 record into play this week after going 2-1 at the Thanksgiving Classic hosted by Grand Canyon University last weekend. The Skyhawks took wins over Grand Canyon and The Arts Academy while falling to Cal State-Dominguez Hills.
Fort Lewis is averaging 77.0 points per game. They shoot 48.0 percent from the floor and 43.0 percent from 3-point range. The Skyhawks have outscored their opponents 249-222 in the second half this season.
Kirk Archibeque leads the team in scoring at 17.8 points per game and is shooting 53.1 percent from the floor. He is also tops on the team in rebounding, gathering 7.8 caroms per night. Ryan Jameson averages 11.7 points and Trent Bowman put in 10.0 per night, giving them three double-digit scorers.
Inside the Fort Lewis Series
When Westminster and Fort Lewis meet on Saturday it will mark the fourth meeting in the all-time series. Fort Lewis leads the series 2-1, winning the previous meeting 86-74 on December 4, 2004. The lone Westminster win in the series came on November 29, 2002, an 86-84 overtime victory.
Last Week in Review
November 28, 2008
Westminster defeats Grand View, 66-53
The Thanksgiving holiday couldn’t slow No. 13 Westminster as they took a 66-53 win over Grand View. Westminster used a 10-2 run early in the first half to open up an 11 point lead and never looked back. Westminster improves to a perfect 8-0 on the season while Grand View falls to 6-3.
The Griffins shot 50 percent for the game, connecting on 24-of-48 shot attempts. This is the sixth time this season they have shot 50 percent or higher. Geoff Payne led Westminster with his 15 points. Payne also collected five rebounds and two assists in 24 minutes. Wes Anderson scored 14 points off the bench, helping Westminster to a 25-13 advantage in bench scoring.
The Griffins forced Grand View into 15 turnovers and turned them into 15 points, including 10 on the fast break. Jeramie Hopson recorded two steals and scored nine points. Each team recorded 31 total rebounds, but Westminster only managed two on the offensive end.
November 29, 2008
Westminster defeats Northern New Mexico, 90-34
Westminster concluded the Homestead Studio Suites Thanksgiving Classic with a 90-34 win against Northern New Mexico. No. 13 Westminster shot 50.8 percent from the floor and scored 50 second half points in the victory. The win improves Westminster to a school record 9-0.
Westminster used a 16-3 run in the middle of the first half to put the game out of reach. They shot just 44.8 percent in the opening 20 minutes, but solid defense held Northern New Mexico to just 20.8 percent shooting in the same half. Geoff Payne scored 11 of his team high 13 points in the half to carry the Griffins.
Michael Stockton turned the second half into his coming out party. Stockton scored 11 points, dished out five assists, and recorded three steals in the second stanza. He also grabbed five rebounds in the second half, giving him a career high eight on the game. Jeramie Hopson, Jake Harley, and Conner Nielsen all added nine points for Westminster.
The Griffins seem to be the darlings of the Frontier Conference this season. They were hands down the favorite to win the conference, receiving seven first-place votes in the preseason coaches’ poll, the maximum they could receive. The 49 points were eight more than second place pick, Lewis-Clark State.
In the Polls
Westminster came in at No. 7 in the NAIA Coaches’ Poll that was released on December 1. That is the highest ranking in school history, surpassng a No. 8 ranking on January 30 of last season. This is the 18th consecutive poll that Westminster has received votes in, dating back to the 2006-07 season.
Westminster has jumped to number four in the poll released by the Victory Sports network. That is the highest ranking for the Griffins in any poll in school history. The VSN is the leader in covering the NAIA and its poll is conducted by men’s basketball editor, David Paul Estes.
Finding a Teammate
Westminster is dish happy early this season, averaging 17.0 assists per game. That ranks second in the Frontier Conference and 18th nationally. It is also the highest per game average for any Westminster team since 2004-05. The Griffins have a 1.15 assist-to-turnover ratio to lead the conference and place them ninth nationally.
Michael Stockton and Jordan Jacobs are leading this charge. Stockton has a 4.20 assist-to-turnover ratio, the fourth-best total in the NAIA. Jacobs is averaging 4.22 assists and his assist-to-turnover ratio is 2.92
Payne in the Neck
Geoff Payne continues to lead Westminster in scoring and rebounding. Payne is averaging 19.7 points and 6.1 rebounds per game and shoots 64.7 percent from the floor, ranking him fourth in the country. He has led the team in scoring in eight times this year.
Westminster will take three weeks off before a trip to Mesa, Arizona and two games on December 29 and 30.
Westminster is a nationally recognized, comprehensive liberal arts college. With a broad array of graduate and undergraduate programs, Westminster is distinguished by its unique environment for learning. Westminster prepares students for success through active and engaged learning, real world experiences and its vibrant campus community. Westminster’s unique location, adjacent to the Rocky Mountains and to the dynamic city of Salt Lake, further enriches the college experience. For more information visit www.westminstercollege.edu.