Blue Jays Handle Highlanders on Senior Day

Senior Javier Martin Ortega with Assistant Coach Andrew Green, who escorted him on senior day
Senior Javier Martin Ortega with Assistant Coach Andrew Green, who escorted him on senior day

FULTON, Mo. - Westminster men's basketball honored seniors Tanner Gentges, Javier Martin Ortega, and Zach Nelson in the 85-76 win over MacMurray.

"We are very excited for our seniors tonight," said Westminster Head Coach Matt Mitchell. "All three played key roles in tonight's win." 

The Blue Jays improve to 14-6 overall and 10-3 in conference play. 

Westminster got out to a slow start with MacMurray went on a 6-0 run to open the game. Jimmy Villalobos then hit a jump shot and a three-pointer in consecutive possessions to eventually give Westminster it's first lead, 9-8, with 16 minutes to play. Westminster would never look back from that point. 

Despite maintaining a lead for most of the first half, the Highlanders still remained in the game, managing to stay within a couple possessions of the Blue Jays. 

At the 7:17 mark, Westmisnter broke open it's biggest lead of the game on a three-pointer from Romo Tabb. However, An 8-2 run to close the game from MacMurray led to just a 40-36 lead for Westminster at the half. 

The Blue Jays opened the half on a 10-2 run sparked by back-to-back three-pointers from Villalobos. 

"We were able to come out of the locker room to start the second half with better defensive focus and energy," said Mitchell. "We cleaned up our ball handling and limited their offensive rebounds."

Another three-pointer from Villalobos put Westminster up 15, the biggest margin of the game thus far. 

After leading by as many as 19 in the second half, Westminster found themselves only up by eight points with under two minutes to play. 

Freethrows from Carter Wands and Tanner Cochran down the stretch eventaully sealed the win for Westminster. 

The Blue Jays recorded five players in double-digit scoring including Villalobos (16), Tabb (13), Nelson (12), Sean O'Brien (12), and Cochran (10). 

The team returns to action for a home game Monday against Eureka at 5 p.m.