The Westminster men's basketball team was unable to make-up for their first half deficit in Friday's season opener versus Millikin, resulting in a 65-56 loss at the annual Tip-Off Tournament. The Westminster Blue Jays begin their season 0-1.
Millikin jumped out to a 13-4 lead after draining three three-pointers within the first five minutes of play. Millikin continued to hold the stead lead, but jump shots by sophomore Jimmy Villalobos and junior Zack Nelson brought the Blue Jays within five with 3:55 left in the first half. The cut to Millkin's lead forced them to call a timeout, and Millikin came out and ended the half with a 12-3 run to hold a 35-21 lead over Westminster.
Villalobos made a jumper 8:13 into the second half to bring the Blue Jays within 10 points. Millikin managed to keep a 10+ point lead, but sophomore Tanner Cochran grabbed a steal with 3:15 left in the game. He broke down the court and was fouled on his way up, sending him to the line for two. He made the first free throw, bringing the game within nine points.
The Blue Jays battled their way to close the gap, and with 1:10 on the clock, Nelson put a jumper in to bring the game within seven, 63-56. The Blue Jays were unable to make another shot, while Millikin added two free throws to end the game 65-56.
Cochran led the court with 16 points. Sophomore Romo Tabb posted six rebounds and Villalobos pulled down five.
The Blue Jays will play Elmhurst College on Saturday, November 21, at 1:00 p.m. to finish up the two day Tip-Off Tournament.