The Blackburn men's basketball team held off Westminster College 66-63 Wednesday night, giving the Blue Jays their fourth conference loss (7-4) with BC moving to 6-5.
Coming into the game off of a win in conference play, the Beavers were mentally locked in from the tip. Four players were in the double figures, and they just so happened to be four of the five starters.
Bryson Kirby (Lincoln, Illinois / Lincoln) top-scored for the Beavers with 12 points and four rebounds. Six of his points came in the beginning of the second half off multiple emphatic defensive stops to give Blackburn the lead.
Westminster jumped out to an early lead going on a 17-6 run within the first ten minutes of the first half but the Beavers efforts never let up. Blackburn’s great hustle and effort all over the court helped them to victory. Winning the rebound margin 39-29, scoring 14 second-chance points, and totaling 23 points off the bench.
Duncan King (Peoria, Illinois / Richwoods) had a huge night with 11 points and a season-high nine rebounds.
BC came out of halftime racing with a 17-0 run, including three three-pointers, and a Xavier Bass (Vancleave, Mississippi / Vancleave) offensive board and put back. Blackburn’s largest lead of the game was at 14 (51-37). Then the Beavers offense stalled, as the Blue Jays defense wore on the Beavers and made a stretch of poor shooting.
The Blue Jays slowly clawed there way back into the game through short runs and tied the game with 1:53 remaining. In the waning minute of the game, senior Jamaya Wyatt (Chicago, Illinois / Uplift) came up huge with a free throw to put Blackburn up two with 44 seconds remaining.
The Blue Jays wouldn't vanish just yet as Carter Wands scored a three-point play to bring Westminster within one. The Blue Jays would foul with four seconds remaining to put Karson Hayes (Little Rock, Arkansas / John L McClellan) at the line. He made both and Westminster missed their chance at a three-pointer to tie the game at the buzzer.
UP NEXT: Next up for the Beavers is a game at home against conference rival Greenville, which should prove to be a key match-up for Blackburn’s season. The game is on Saturday 26th at 3 p.m.