Instant Classic, Westminster 74-73 over Carroll

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SALT LAKE CITY - Les Brown tipped in a missed Geoff Payne jumper as time expired to give the Westminster men's basketball team a 74-73 win over Carroll College on Saturday night. No. 7 Westminster (27-4) came back from 16 points down in the first half and stunned the Saints (20-7) on the put back. Carroll had retaken the lead on two Chad Vaculin free throws with 7.1 second remaining.

Westminster trailed by 16 with 29 second remaining in the first half, but two Payne free throws and a Jordan Jacobs three with six second left ct it back to 42-31. Jacobs continued to stroke it from deep early in the second half and when he hit his third from deep of the half, Westminster led 57-56 with 10:18 to play. The game stayed within four points either way and when Chad Vaculin hit two free throws with 7.1 second Carroll held a 73-72 lead. The next Westminster possession saw Jacobs hand off the Payne for a 16-footer. It missed long and fell to Brown who tipped it in as time expired.

"Coach has made it a point with me all year to rebound," Brown said after the game. "It's my role on the team and tonight it paid off for us."

Brown finished with just six points and three rebounds. The tip was his only offensive board of the game. Jacobs finished with 20 points and five makes from beyond the arc and 17 in the second half. Westminster shot 50.0% from the floor and went 7-of-17 from distance.

"I didn't come out trying to force anything," Jacobs said about his second half performance. "It was just the way they were guarding us left me open for some shots."

"I'm so proud of our guys for the second half," head coach Tommy Connor commented. "It was another great game against an excellent Carroll team. We happened to get a tip-in, but that is Les Brown's job."

The Griffins got 17 points and eight rebounds from Geoff Payne while Danny Stosich added 16 off the bench. Jeramie Hopson finished with 11 points and five assists, but fouled out with 2:59 to play.

Chad Vaculin led Carroll with 26 points, including 14-of-15 at the free throw line. Josh Saunders was the only other player from Carroll in double figures with 10. Andy Garland went for nine points and six rebounds. Carroll shot 53.8% for the game and 65.2% in the first half.

Westminster will now host the Frontier Conference championship game on Tuesday, March 10. They will face Rocky Mountain College at 7:00 p.m. in the Behnken Field House.


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