The Blackburn Beavers and Iowa Wesleyan Tigers met on Saturday afternoon for a SLIAC matchup. Iowa Wesleyan took the previous matchup by a one-point margin when these two teams last met at Blackburn.
Blackburn got out of the gates with a few early baskets by Willie Orange to put them up 4-0. Willie, who finished with 17 points and 9 rebounds, was a catalyst for the Beavers as they built a lead early in the 1st half. He was active on the glass while converting down low. However, Iowa Wesleyan would have their answer.
Brock Butler, a sophomore guard on Iowa Wesleyan, found himself having quite the hot hand mid way through the first half. After keeping the score close, Iowa Wesleyan went on their run thanks to 5 first half three pointers by Brock Butler. Brock finished with 23 points. Iowa Wesleyan ended up extending that lead to 11. Blackburn Head coach Steve Kollar talked about what the key was to chipping away at that lead. "I told the guys we need one stop at a time. We needed to get great possessions and they went on that run partially because we settled on some of our offensive possessions."
The Beavers went into half time down 3 but came out of the gates hot in the second half to gain and maintain the lead. "The offensive glass was huge for us in the second half. We did a great job with our ball movement which resulted in the open man getting a look." The Beavers were able to maintain a second half lead thanks to having five guys in double digits. "Anytime you have that many guys on the floor who can score, it's just about finding the open guy and knocking down the shot which we did in the second half. It's about multiple guys fulfilling their roles on the floor to help the team be successful." said Coach Kollar.
The Beavers ended up winning the contest 85-78. Blackburn return home for senior night this Wednesday at 8pm against Eureka.