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Griffins defeat previously SLIAC-unbeaten Westminster in 63-61 battle

Griffins defeat previously SLIAC-unbeaten Westminster in 63-61 battle

St. Louis, Mo. - Fontbonne men's basketball handed Westminster College their first St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference loss today. The Griffins held on for the 63-61 win and sit 4-7 overall and 2-2 in conference play. Westminster started conference play 3-0 until meeting the Griffins today. The Blue Jays are 3-6 overall.

With a slow start the Griffins trailed Westminster 0-3 after two minutes, but found their rhythm, scoring 10 consecutive points. Four of Fontbonne's first six buckets were three-pointers, including back-to-back treys from Kody Ettinger, both assisted by Ben Kissing. Westminster's Nick Carlos left the game after playing just a minute due to injury. At this point, Fontbonne led 22-11 while the Blue Jays earned their seventh foul with 8:47 left to play in the first half. Westminster was able to control their play for the remainder of the half, earning just one more foul before halftime. Fontbonne led 34-30 going into the locker room. 

After Westminster stole the ball and secured a three-pointer and their eighth consecutive point to open second-half play the Griffins were forced to take a timeout. The Blue Jays led 42-37 but Fontbonne fought back and a steal by Greg Gentry led to a layup by Ettinger which sparked a Griffin-lead. Gentry stole back-to-back Blue Jay possessions and Westminster wouldn't regain the lead for the rest of the game. Fontbonne led 61-55 with 2:35 to play but Westminster crawled back scoring six points to Fontbonne's two. Fontbonne led 63-61 with 25 seconds remaining when Trey Watkins pulled down a key defensive rebound for the Griffins. Two missed free-throws and a Westminster defensive rebound with five seconds left gave the Blue Jays a chance. Westminster pulled up for the last-second three-pointer to win the game but missed the attempt. Westminster fans wanted a foul, but didn't receive one.

Ettinger scored Fontbonne's team-high 17 points with Gentry recording 13. Gentry went 3-of-4 in the field and 7-of-10 at the line while recording three rebounds, three assists and three steals. Jared Greenlee and Richard Dorhauer each picked up seven rebounds. Tony Cochran ended with the game-high 20 points for Westminster followed by Romo Tabb with 18.

Each team recorded 37 rebounds and were relatively even in inside scoring with Fontbonne securing an additional bucket (28-26).

The Griffins travel down Big Bend to Webster Wednesday for an 8 p.m. showdown. Fontbonne only returns home on January 13th to take on Eureka.