The Westminster men's basketball team defeated Blackburn College 84-73 on Saturday, January 9. The win brings the Westminster Blue Jays to 4-2 in conference and 4-7 on the season.
Sophomore Romo Tabb scored the first four points of the game as the Blue Jays grabbed a 4-0 lead just one minute in. Blackburn knotted the game at 8-8, but a three by sophomore Tanner Cochran pulled back the lead. After three silent minutes, Blackburn went up 13-11. A layup by sophomore Jimmy Villalobos took the lead back, but the game knotted up thrice more before a three by sophomore Nick Carlos took a three-point lead with 8:51 on the clock, 23-20. A three-pointer by junior Tanner Gentges brought the Blue Jays up by five, but a 5-0 run from Blackburn tied the game for the fifth time. The Blue Jays answered with a 9-0 run with points coming from four players, and they held a seven-point lead heading into halftime, 44-37.
Within the first two minutes of the second half, Blackburn knotted the game at 44-44. Senior Kellen Brondel broke the run with a short jump shot, but Blackburn tied the game up again at 46-46. An 11-2 run brought the Blue Jays up by nine, and a 12-0 run gave the Blue Jays a 19-point lead with 8:41 to play, 69-50. Two free throws from Cochran and two more from senior Brandon Drum gave the Blue Jays a 23-point lead with 4:48 to play, but Blackburn knocked the lead to 15 with two minutes left in the game. Blackburn chipped away at the lead and two good Blackburn free throws brought the game within nine with 00:27 on the clock. Junior Daniel McElroy put away his two from the foul line to take back an 11-point lead with 21 seconds remaining and the Blue Jay defense held Blackburn from scoring again, ending the game with a 84-73 win.
The Blue Jays shot 58.8 percent from the three-point line and 52 percent from the field. Villalobos led the floor with 18 points and eight boards. He shot 3-for-4 from the three-point line and 5-6 from the free throw line. Carlos added 14 points while Tabb went 5-for-7 from the field to put down 13 points. Freshman Carter Wands finished with four assists and four steals. Gentges also finished with four assists.
The Blue Jays next travel to Webster Groves, Mo., on Wednesday, January 13, for their seventh conference game versus Webster University at 8:00 pm.