It always feels great to start the New Year off with a win. Well, the Blackburn Men's Basketball team did just that with a big conference win over Webster University on Saturday, January 2, 2016. With school set to start soon the Beavers took advantage of the time to practice as they were able to prepare for their opening game of 2016.
Webster University came into the game with an unblemished conference record of two wins and zero losses and looked to take advantage of the Beavers who started the afternoon with a one and two record in conference play. Blackburn started the game slow and found themselves down at halftime to a score of 36-32 in favor of the Gorloks. The Beavers came out at halftime firing and poured in 45 points in 20 minutes compared to the 37 points scored by the Gorloks. The Beavers won the game by the total score of 77-73.
With the Gorloks playing a zone defense most of the game the Beavers decided the best way to beat the Gorloks was to get the ball into the middle. The Beavers did just that finding forward Deandre Manuel on a consistent basis, as he lead the team with 21 total points to go along with his team high 10 rebounds. Also, stepping up for the Beavers was Chris Davis who tallied a total of 19 points to go along with Manuel. Davis also cashed in four three pointers for the Beavers. Also scoring in double figures was Jake Maestranzi who had 12 points and a team high 8 assists. Coming off the bench for the Beavers in a huge way was Willie Orange who came in and scored 18 points, grabbed 6 boards, and shot a perfect 6-6 from the charity stripe. The Beavers shot 51.7% from the field, 60% from 3 point land, and shot 66.7% from the free throw line. Also, Blackburn committed 15 turnovers; however the team found the open man on a consistent basis all day and totaled 21 team assists, and grabbed 41 rebounds as a team.
Webster kept the game close; however poor free throw shooting kept the Gorloks from claiming a win in Carlinville. The Gorloks went 20-35 from the charity stripe shooting 57.1% from the line. Webster shot 42.4% from the field on 25-59 shooting. The Gorloks shot 17.6% from 3 point range only making 3 out of their 17 attempts. Leading the way for the Gorloks was Hunter Ward who scored a game high 22 points and grabbed a game high 13 rebounds.
The Beavers will look to continue their winning ways in the year 2016 as they travel to Principia College on January 5th to take on the Panthers with an 8 pm tip off.