FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ST. CATHARINE COLLEGE SPORTS INFORMATION
Saturday, March 16, 2013

GRIFFINS RISE IN SECOND HALF TO END PATRIOTS' SEASON

       The Westminster (Utah) Griffins rose from the ashes (a 33-27 halftime deficit) to down the St. Catharine College Patriots 69-55 in the first round of the NAIA Division I Women's Basketball National Championship Thursday afternoon in the Frankfort Convention Center. Westminster (28-3) went on to defeat Faulkner (Ala.) in a second round game and will meet No. 1 seed Westmont (Calif.) in Saturday’s quarterfinals.

       The Griffins led by as many as nine points, 17-8, in the first half before Janae Howard sparked a 13-4 St. Catharine run with seven-straight points to tie the game at 21 with 6:52 remaining before the break. Westminster's cold streak continued with Tia Pappas' 2-pointer at 6:26 acting as the Griffins last field goal of the half. The drought allowed the Patriots to grow a 34-27 halftime lead.

       Howard finished the opening period with 17 points on 6-of-10 shooting, including a pair of 3-point baskets. She also added seven rebounds and one block in the opening period. As a team, the Patriots shot 38.7 percent (12-of-31), while Westminster was limited to only 31 percent.

       But Westminster shook off the rust in the second half, exploding for 42 points on 15-of-30 shooting. Brooke Larson, who was held scoreless in the opening half, sparked the effort with a 3-pointer on the half's opening possession. She would go on to score a team-high 10 second half points.

        The Griffins increased their lead to as much as 16, 67-51, on a pair of Larson free throws late in the half. St. Catharine's offense shut down during the period, converting only 29 percent of its shots, including a 16.7 percent effort from 3-point range.

       Westminster ended the game shooting 40.7 percent from the field and 88.2 percent (15-of-17) at the charity stripe. The Patriots (19-12)shot 34 percent from the field and were 9-15 (60 percent) at the foul line.

        Howard led all scorers with 25 points, while also grabbing 11 rebounds for her sixth double-double of the season. Reilly Poirier and Machera Calhoun were also in double figures for the Patriots with 11 points each.