Jan 11, 2020 4:38 PM

Griffin guard has career night with 32 points to hold off Eagles 83-72

Posted Jan 11, 2020 4:38 PM

By: Con Marshall, CSC Athletics

CHADRON, Neb. -- January 10, 2020 -- Senior point guard Jai Jai Ely nailed all seven of his three-point shots while scoring a career-high 32 points to lead Westminster to an 83-72 victory over Chadron State in a Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference clash in Chadron on Friday night.

Two more Griffins combined for 40. Alex Monson finished with 22 points and Brandon Warr added 18 points to go with his team-high 10 rebounds. Just six Westminster players scored, all of them seniors.

The Griffins made 31 of 61 field goal shots, including 12 of 23 three-pointers. Ely was the culprit as far as the Eagles were concerned. The Idaho Falls, Idaho, native came into the game averaging 11.2 percent and was only 11 of 30 from three-point range for the season and just 3-of-14 downtown in the previous seven conference games.

Chadron State was 22-of-57 for 38.6 percent from the field and nine of 27 from behind the arc. The Eagles helped themselves stay in the game by making 19 of 22 free throws, including 15 of 17 in the second half.

Senior guard Michael Sparks looks to get a basket inside Friday night.
Senior guard Michael Sparks looks to get a basket inside Friday night.

The visitors were just nine of 16 from the line.

CSC Coach Houston Reed said at times the Eagles were "shooting just to shoot" and they weren't the kind of shots they took last weekend when they were edged 81-78 by Adams State, then upset Fort Lewis 83-71, both on the road.

"Give credit to Westminster for playing defense very well and forcing us into shots that they wanted us to take," Reed stated.

Chadron State jumped out to 7-2 lead in the first 3:48, but Monson scored the next five points to tie the count and Ely sank his first of five treys in the first half to give his team the lead, one it never relinquished.

Westminster led by just 35-31 at halftime, but scored the first seven points of the second half and eventually built a 16-point (58-42) lead with 10 minutes remaining. The Eagles continued to battle and cut the deficit to seven points five times in the final six minutes, but Westminster always answered the threat.

Chadron State had three double-figure scorers--point guard Colby Jackson with 18, center Jacob Jefferson with 17 and forward Brian Rodriguez with 13. Walker Andrew added eight points and claimed 10 rebounds.

Besides leading the Eagles in scoring, Jackson handed out five assists and had five rebounds.

The Eagles, now 3-11 overall and 2-6 in the RMAC, will host Dixie State on Saturday night. Metro State nipped the Trailblazers, now 11-3, 60-57 in Denver on Friday night.

Westminster--Jai Jai Ely 32, Alec Monson 22, Brandon Warr 18, Joonas Tahvanainen 6, Jake Conner 3, James Walljasper 2. Totals: 31-61 (12-23) 9-16, 83 points, 33 rebounds, 6 turnovers.

Chadron State--Colby Jackson 18, Jacob Jefferson 17, Brian Rodriguez 13, Walker Andrew 8, Michael Sparks 7, Kenan Gray 7, Andre Sepeda 2. Totals: 22-57 (9-27) 19-22, 72 points, 37 rebounds, 9 turnovers.

Westminster 35 48 ----83

Chadron State 31 41 ----71

3-pointers: West--Ely 7, Warr 3, Monson 1, Connor 1. CSC--Jackson 3, Jefferson 3, Rodriguez 2, Sparks 1.

#19 Griffins in control start to finish Friday, 81-50

By: John Murphy, CSC Sports Information Assistant

CHADRON, Neb. -- Westminster shot 51.9 percent from the field and outscored the Chadron State women's basketball team 45-18 in the first half at the Chicoine Center on Friday night, helping the Griffins defeat the Eagles 80-51.

The Eagles fall to 3-14 overall and 1-7 in conference play. The Griffins improve to 12-2 and 7-1 in the RMAC.

Chadron State led 4-3 with six minutes to go in the first quarter, before Westminster responded with a 27-4 scoring run to close the first quarter and begin the second.

"Westminster is a great team, but we turned the ball over too many times in the first five minutes," Head Coach Janet Raymer said.

The Eagles had 20 turnovers which the visitors converted into 21 points. Westminster had 13 turnovers which resulted in 12 Chadron State points. 16 of CSC's 20 turnovers were in the first half and five were in the first five minutes.

Senior forward Jessica Lovitt lines up a jump shot Friday.
Senior forward Jessica Lovitt lines up a jump shot Friday.

The Griffins converted 28-54 shots for their 51.9 percent. They shot 38.9 percent (7-18) from three and were 17-19 from the charity stripe for 89.5 percent.

CSC was 17-47 for 36 percent from the field. The Eagles made one of their 12 three point attempts and 16 of 23 free throws, for 8.3 percent and 69.6 percent, respectively.

Chadron State was outrebounded 32-25 in the loss.

Taryn Foxen finished with a double-double r for CSC, with 18 points and 10 rebounds, both team and game highs.

Sarah McGinley, Mariah Martin and Kaitlin Toluono each scored 15 points for the Griffins. Hunter Krebs also scored in double-digits with 13.

The Eagles face Dixie State Saturday at 5:30 p.m. in the Chicoine Center. The Trailblazers are 10-4 overall and 5-3 in conference play after defeating MSU-Denver 61-54 Friday.