Blue Jays Defeat Webster, Advance to SLIAC Championship

Tanner Cochran
Tanner Cochran

GREENVILLE, Ill. - Westminster men's basketball overcame Webster in the SLIAC semifinal game on 25 points from Tanner Cochran, advancing to the championship Saturday at 1.

"This was a great team win tonight," said Westminster Head Coach Matt Mitchell. "I'm very impressed with our guys, we haven't played well the last two weeks and we maintained our confidence kept working together." 

Webster got out to an early lead, going on an 11-2 run to take a 15-7 lead with just over 10 minutes to play in the first half. Back-to-back three-pointers from Collin Caywood got the Blue Jays back on track and started what would be a 13-22 three-point shooting effort from Westminster. 

Five straight points from Cochran with six minutes left gave Westminster their first lead of the game at 26-24. 

After three more ties and lead changes, a jump shot from Stu Hollandsworth tied the score at 31 to go into the halftime break. 

A 7-0 run from the Blue Jays started the second half on a positive note. The Gorlocks came back to tie the game at 31, but Caywood again hit two consecutive threes to pull Westminster back ahead. 

An 11-4 run from Webster gave them the lead at 55-54, but Sean O'Brien and Cochran combined for 21 points over the final minutes to take the final lead for the Blue Jays. Cochran hit four straight threes on consecutive possessions to seal the win for Westminster. 

"Collin Caywood got hot tonight and kept us in the game, and Tanner Cochran got hot late to put the game away," said Mitchell. "We are excited to play tomorrow."

Cochran led the team with 25 points on 8-10 shooting, including hitting 7-9 from behind the arc. 

O'Brien added 19 points on 9-10 shooting.

Caywood scored 18 from off the bench, a career high for the sophomore. He went 6-9 from behind the three-point line. 

Westminster advances to the SLIAC Championship against Greenville Saturday at 7 p.m.