Booth led Westminster Griffins too much for ASC Grizzlies
Salt Lake City, Utah— Sophomore forward Nick Booth hit 10 of 11 field goal attempts and added 10 free throws as he scored a game-high 30 points to lead the Westminster (Utah) College Griffins to a 73-66 non-conference men's basketball win over the visiting Adams State College Grizzlies on Saturday night in the Payne Gymnasium. The win allowed the Griffins, ranked 17th in the NAIA Division I Preseason Rankings, to improve to 6-3. ASC fell to 0-4 for the first time in the NCAA Division II era (1992-Present).
Booth, a 6-foot-4 Riverton, Utah native, also had seven rebounds, five of which came on the offensive end and dominated the inside game. Shane Humphreys and Jared Ruiz led the outside charge combining for six of the Griffins' nine treys. Humphreys was 4-for-9 from behind the arc and scored 12 points. Ruiz, who was a perfect 6 of 6 from the charity stripe, also nailed two clutch 3-pointers and also scored 12 points.
ASC also had some solid performances from senior David Mitchell, sophomore Richard Mincey and redshirt freshman point guard Larry Charles. Mitchell, a 6-foot-8, 230-pound Melbourne, Victoria, Australia native, led the way with a 21-point, 9-rebound effort. Mincey, a 6-foot-4, 205-pound Colorado Springs native, scored a career-high 16 points on a solid 6-for-9 shooting effort, while Charles, a 6-foot, 175-pound Tucson, Ariz. native, dished out a career-best seven assists while scoring 10 points. That effort came on the heels of a career-high 17-point outburst against Albertson (Idaho) College, ranked 21st in the NAIA Division II Preseason Poll, on Friday night.
Mitchell who went for 47 points in the Grizzlies' first two games, has now scored 20 or more points in three of ASC's four contests.
The difference in the game was at the free throw line as the Griffins scored nine more free points on 11 more chances. Hitting 16 of 21 (76.2 percent) attempts, the Griffins were 11 of 13 (84.6 percent) in the second half. The Grizzlies went to the line just 10 times, hitting seven.
Shooting a solid 56.0 percent (14-25) in the first half, the Griffins took a slight 36-33 edge into the locker room and then drilled six 3-pointers and most of their free throws in the second half. ASC hit 14 of 28 (50 percent) shots in each half but went to the line just five times in each stanza.
Both teams committed 14 turnovers while the Griffins had a slight 30-27 rebounding advantage despite ASC's 12-11 edge on the offensive glass. The Griffins shot 49.0 percent (24-49) on the night although a Booth-less squad would have made just 36.8 percent (14-38) of its' attempts.
The Grizzlies will play four more games away from home starting on Friday and Saturday at the Western State Comfort Inn Classic in Gunnison. Facing the 2004 NCAA Division II East Regional Runner-Up Alderson-Broaddus College Battlers, currently 2-1, on Friday, the Grizzlies will meet the currently 1-3 Western New Mexico University Mustangs on Saturday. Both games in Western State's Paul Wright Gymnasium will tip-off at 6 p.m. and can be heard on KSPK-FM (103.5 in Alamosa) and via the internet at www.kspk.com.