FULTON, Mo. – The Westminster men's basketball team defeated Blackburn 79-73 on Wednesday night to extend their winning streak to four games and improve to 4-1 in St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play.
Sophomore guard Landon Harrison got off to a hot start, scoring the first 13 Westminster points before Omar Wright made a layup to put the Blue Jays up 15-14 with just under 11 minutes to go in the half. After the Beavers retook the lead on a jumper, Steven Brandt came off the bench to hit two threes to give Westminster a 21-20 lead. On the next Beaver possession Brandt blocked a Blackburn shot and grabbed the rebound to give to ball back to the Blue Jays. After a Blackburn foul Ethan Thompson went to the free-throw line and made both foul shots. Thompson then started to heat up, draining two three-pointers and a jumper to put Westminster up 31-27 with 4:43 left in the half. However, the Beavers closed out the first half on an 11-2 run to take a 38-33 lead into halftime.
The Beaver held onto the lead until a three-pointer from Jaxon Althaus tied the game with 11:12 left on the clock. Althaus then made a layup while being fouled and converted the free throw to complete the three-point play and put Westminster up 56-53. The teams then exchanged layups before the Beavers made a pair of threes to take a 61-58 lead with 8:17 left. A three-pointer by Thompson tied the game and Harrison made two free throws to give the Blue Jays a two-point lead with less than six minutes on the clock.
Makygh Galbreath doubled the Westminster lead with a layup before a Blackburn three-pointer cut the deficit to a single point. The Beavers retook the lead by making two free throws and then Wright reclaimed the lead for the Blue Jays with a layup. Following a Blackburn foul, Althaus converted two foul shots and after a turnover by the Beavers, Harrison hit a jumper to put the Blue Jays up 76-71 with just over a minute left on the clock. Westminster closed out the game going three-of-four of free throws to come away with their fourth win in a row.
Althaus (13 points and 10 rebounds) and Harrison (23 points and 11 rebounds) both recorded double-doubles for the Blue Jays. Thompson finished tied with Harrison for the team lead in points with 23 after going 5-7 from three-point range
Wright chipped in 10 points off the bench while Brandt added six points and six rebounds.
The Blue Jays will play again on Saturday when they travel to face Webster in a matchup between two of the top teams in the SLIAC.