Westminster Men's Basketball Keeps Conference Title Hopes Alive

Tanner Gentges
Tanner Gentges

EUREKA, Ill. - Westminster men's basketball remained in the battle for the SLIAC conference title with a win over Eureka, 83-57.

Westminster is now 17-7 overall and 13-4 in the conference, tied at the top with Greenville. 

"We had a great team win today," said Westminster Head Coach Matt Mitchell. "We played very well for the entire 40 minutes."

The Blue Jays opened the game cold, with just eight points in the first five minutes, including five from Tanner Cochran. It wasn't until a Sean O'Brien jump shot at the 12:24 mark that Westminster took their first lead in the game at 16-15. 

After four more lead changes, Westminster regained the lead for good on a layup from Romo Tabb at the 7:05 mark. Westminster ended the half on a 15-4 run to take a 37-26 lead at the half, their biggest lead of the game. 

The Blue Jays opened the half trading baskets with the Red Devils, but keeping their double-digit lead. 

"Our size took advantage of them, especially in the second half," said Mitchell.

Villalobos made a layup with under 10 minutes remaining in the half to give Westminster its biggest lead of the game at 64-45. 

Five points from Casey McCollum extended the Westminster lead to 23 points with under seven minutes to play. 

Despite the Red Devils attempt to get back in the game, Westminster didn't let up and finished the game with the win. 

"I think we were rejuvenated when we saw that we still had a chance to win a share of the conference title," said Mitchell. Before the game, Greenville was the outright leader of the conference before losing to Principia.

O'Brien led the team with a double-double on 20 points and 10 boards, and added five blocks. Jimmy Villalobos added 14 while Cochran and Tabb both scored 10 apiece. 

The Blue Jays go on to face Principia in the final game of the regular season Saturday at 2 p.m. in Elsah, Illinois.