Westminster Men's Basketball Suffers First Loss to Cornell

Tanner Gentges
Tanner Gentges

LINCOLN, Neb. - Westminster men's basketball took its first loss to Cornell 76-69 at the Nebraska Wesleyan Snyder Classic.

Westminster falls to 3-1 with the loss. 

"We came out extremely flat, unethusiastic and sloppy," said Westminster Head Coach Matt Mitchell. "We missed several easy shots in the first half and dug ourselves a hole." 

The Rams got out to a quick start to take an early lead against the Blue Jays. Layups from Jimmy Villalobos and Sean O'Brien kickstarted the Westminster offense, but Cornell went on a 7-0 run to make the score 11-4, forcing a Westminster timeout with just over 14 minutes remaining in the first half. 

Cody Shaw, Zach Nelson, and Javier Martin Ortega evened the score at 11, but the Rams went on another 11-0 run to take a 22-11 lead with just over eight minutes left.

Westminster attempted to fight back into the game, but went into the halftime break with a 38-25 deficit. 

With just over 16 minutes left in the game, the Rams took their largest lead of the game at 47-27. Romo Tabb completed a three-point play the at the 15:05 mark and went on to score 11 of his 13 points in the next seven minutes to cut the Cornell lead to single digits with eight minutes remaining. 

The Rams continued to add basketball while Westminster stayed within range, but Westminster found itself running out of time.

A layup by Tanner Gentges put the Blue Jays within seven with 33 seconds left, but they weren't able to close the gap to take the win. 

"This will be an extremely valuable learning experience for our guys," said Mitchell. "We need to prepare better and that starts with me. Early foul trouble hurt us, but we have to maintain our discipline and understand that it is a 40 minute game."

Villalobos led the squad with 15 points while Tabb recorded 13. Shaw tallied 11 points off the bench. 

The Blue Jays return to action in the Synder Classic Saturday at 7 p.m. against host Nebraska Wesleyan.