Cochran Hits Game-Winner in Final Seconds

Tanner Cochran (12) and Romo Tabb (32)
Tanner Cochran (12) and Romo Tabb (32)

FULTON, Mo. - Tanner Cochran scored the game-winning three-pointer with the clock winding down to give the Blue Jays the 91-88 win over Iowa Wesleyan. 

Westminster improves to 9-4 overall and 6-1 in the conference. The Tigers fall to 5-2 in the SLIAC with the loss. 

"Tonight was a hard fought battle between two good offensive teams," said Westminster Head Coach Matt Mitchell. "Ultimately it came down to which team could get a stop when it was needed. We are fortunate that Tanner Cochran hit a big shot late." 

The Blue Jays tallied four players in double figures, including 22 from Romo Tabb to lead the team. Sean O'Brien recorded 21 points, while Cochran and Jimmy Villalobos notched 15 and 14, respectively. Carter Wands led all players in assists with 11.

"Romo and Sean dominated the game offensively for us," said Mitchell. "Iowa Wesleyan is a very good team and clearly the best shooting team in the league. They are difficult to guard when all five are in sync and that's what happened tonight."

The Tigers were able to pull away from a tough battle in the first ten minutes by going up as many as 14 with under 10 minutes left in the first half. Despite O'Brien's strong first half, Westminster was down 12 points going into the locker rooms at the half. 

A 16-7 run for Westminster the in first five minutes of the second half put the Blue Jays right back in the game. 

A layup by Stu Hollandsworth at the 11:50 mark tied the game at 64 for the first time since the game was tied at 11 early in the game. 

Five straight points from Cochran gave the Blue Jays their first lead since the first half at the 9:43 mark with a 69-68 advantage. 

The last ten minutes would feature six lead changes. Westminster hit back-to-back-back three-pointers from Colin Caywood, Cochran, and O'Brien with under five minutes remaining. 

Despite the shooting prowess from Westminster, the Tigers proved just as reliable from behind the arc and the score was tied at 88 with 35 seconds left. 

With the ball in Westminster's hands, the Blue Jays ran the shot clock down to its final seconds until Cochran launched a three from the top right of the key, sinking the game-winner with just six seconds left. 

Carter Wands ensured victory by stealing the Iowa Wesleyan inbounds pass and holding the ball until the clock ran out. 

The Blue Jays return to their home court Saturday at 3 p.m. for a matchup against Eureka.