UMW News BureauThe University of Montana Western Bulldogs women’s basketball team suffered a loss to the Westminster College Griffins, 71-63, Saturday night in the Straugh Gymnasium on the Montana Western campus. By Lowell Peterson The University of Montana Western Bulldogs women’s basketball team suffered a loss to the Westminster College Griffins, 71-63, Saturday night in the Straugh Gymnasium on the Montana Western campus. Just 24 hours after defeating fourth-ranked Lewis-Clark State by 20 points, the Bulldogs did not resemble the team that defeated the Warriors. Turnovers, 19 fewer assists than the night before, a defense that allowed the Griffins to score 30 points in the paint and cold shooting kept Montana Western from moving to the top of the conference standings. After Westminster scored the first five points of the game Montana Western (1-1, 11-4) went on a 16-4 run to open up a seven-point lead (16-9) at the 12:37 mark. Hayley Pettit scored seven of the Bulldogs’ points during the run and Montana Western looked poised to repeat the performance of the night before. After Sammi Bignell scored to give the Bulldogs a 19-15 lead, Westminster (2-0, 9-6) scored the next nine points to equal their biggest lead of the first half, 24-19. Two free throws by Nicole Tams cut the lead to two, but Allie Eastman scored off an offensive rebound in the paint with eight seconds left to put the Griffins on top 30-26 as the half ended. Pettit hit a two-point shot and Bignell nailed a three-pointer to start the second half and put the Bulldogs on top 31-30, but that would be the last time they would have a lead in the game. Westminster went on a 16-3 run to go ahead 46-34 with 12:05 to play and were never seriously threatened the rest of the way. The Griffins led by 17 points with 6:39 to play before the Bulldogs had a 19-10 run to finish the game. Pettit recorded her third straight double-double scoring 19 points and grabbing 14 rebounds. She was six for 10 from the field and seven for eight from the free throw line. Bignell finished with 15 points and five rebounds and Alecia Wilson scored eight. Tams had seven points and seven rebounds. As a team Montana Western shot .333 (18-54) from the field, .417 (5-12) on three pointers and .733 (22-30) from the free throw line. The Griffins had four players score in double figures. Dana Bates led the way with 16 points, Cydney Tibbitts scored 13, Nicole Yazzie and Eastman added 12 and Jenteal Jackson just missed double digits with nine points. Tibbits pulled down 10 rebounds, recording a double-double on the night, and Bates had eight boards. Westminster was .442 (23-52) from the field, .313 (5-16) from beyond the three point line and .769 (20-26) on free throws. Westminster returns home to host Carroll College (0-1, 7-7) on Jan. 12 and Rocky Mountain College (1-0, 12-4) on Jan. 14. Montana Western hits the road to play the University of Great Falls (0-1, 5-8) on Jan. 13 at 5:30 p.m. and Montana State University-Northern (1-0, 14-1) on Jan. 14 at 6 p.m.
The University of Montana Western has launched a national search for the provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs position.