Payne leads griffins into quarterfinals

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Press ReleaseKANSAS CITY, Mo. - For the first time in school history the Westminster men's basketball team has advanced to the quarterfinals of the Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I Men's Basketball National Championship. They made that with a 67-62 win over the University of the Cumberlands on Friday afternoon. Westminster controlled the game in the paint, outscoring the opposition 46-26.

Geoff Payne led the Griffin attack with 24 points and nine rebounds. He shot 11-of-14 from the field and was 2-of-5 at the charity stripe. Westminster also saw Danny Stosich add 15 points, including an and-one with just over 11 minutes left to put the Griffins on top for good. Westminster shot 55.3% from the floor and held UC to just 38.9 percent shooting.

Westminster took advantage of their six offensive rebounds by turning them into 10 points. The Griffins went 0-for-4 from beyond the arc, snapping a streak of 303 consecutive games with a made 3-pointer. They had converted from beyond the arc in every game since reinstating the basketball program in 1999.

Travis Harvey led the UC attack with 18 points and eight rebounds. Luke Fitzgerald added 13 points while Josh Philipps scored 11. They saw the bench outscore the Griffins reserves 27-14.

Westminster will now face third-seeded Union on Saturday, March 21. That game will tipoff from the Municipal Auditorium at 5:00 p.m. (MST). Westminster and Union will meet for the first time ever for a trip to the semi-finals.

(Courtesy Westminster College)

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