NEW ORLEANS – The fifth-ranked Westminster College women’s basketball team earned a big road win over No. 11 Xavier (La.), 62-50, on Saturday afternoon to complete a perfect 2-0 road trip.
Westminster (4-1) raced out to a 19-6 lead just over nine minutes into the contest. The Griffins ran off seven straight to cap the run on four from Tia Pappas and a three by Cydney Tibbitts. The first half lead would swell to 16 with 7:24 remaining before Xavier (2-1) finished the half with a 14-3 run to enter the break with Westminster ahead, 29-24.
Amy Krommenhoek connected on a three with 11:11 to play in the second half to give the Griffins a 47-29 lead thanks to a 18-5 start to the half. Xavier would chip away at the deficit, and when Carmen Holcombe made two free throws with 1:54 to play, the lead was trimmed to 53-50. Tibbitts would covert back-to-back three-point-plays and then make a layup with 12 seconds left to end the game on a 9-0 run for the Griffins.
Tibbitts led the Griffins with 21 points and seven rebounds. She shot 7-of-10 from the floor and made two triples. The senior forward played a key role in helping break the Xavier press while also playing solid defense. Nicole Yazzie added 11 points and six assists while making three from beyond the arc. Westminster also got a solid performance from Krommenhoek with nine points and five assists.
The Griffins overcame 23 turnovers by shooting a season-high 52.5 percent from the floor and grabbing 10 offensive rebounds. They made seven threes and tallied 21 assists. The defense came up big by holding Xavier to 39.2 percent shooting and forcing 15 turnovers.
“Our defense was key for us today,” head coach Shelley Jarrard said. “We got an incredible performance from Cydney and our rebounding was big. This is a big-time win and I am really proud of them.”
Xavier had three players score in double figures, led by 12 apiece from Andraquay Quinnie and Whitney Gaston-Loyd. Danielle Tucker had 10 points and two assists.
Next for the Griffins is a trip to Caldwell, Idaho, for Thanksgiving Weekend. Westminster will play two games with the first coming against Eastern Oregon on Friday.