CARLINVILLE, Ill. - Westminster men's basketball suffered their first conference loss on the road at Blackburn, 73-62.
The Blue Jays fall to 2-5 overall and 1-1 in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
"Today was a really tough game," said Westminster Head Coach Matt Mitchell. "Blackburn played very well in the first half and shot the lights out, and we started very slowly."
Neither team was able to score until two minutes into the game when Blackburn added the first bucket to take the lead, going on a 7-0 run to open the half. It wasn't until the 16:33 mark that Westminster was finally able to connect with a basket, on a layup from Carter Wands. The Beavers added five more point to go up 11-2, but Casey McCollum broke the run with a three-pointer at the 13:38 mark to make the score 11-5.
The Beavers forced a Westminster timeout after taking a double-digit lead, scoring five more points in back-to-back possessions. Romo Tabb scored right out of the timeout for his first points of the game, but the Beavers continued their hot shooting streak with another three-pointer to answer, which sparked and 11-0 run for Blackburn to make the score 27-7 after 10 minutes of play.
Over the next five minutes, Westminster went on a 13-0 run to pull back within singles digits, which was sparked by three consecutive three-pointers from Tabb and Collin Caywood. After Blackburn answered with five points of their own, Carter Wands hit a three-pointer to end to half and keep the Blue Jays within nine points of the lead going into halftime, down 39-30.
Three points from Tabb to open the second half put Westminster back within six points, the smallest deficit the team had faced since the opening minutes of the game. Blackburn hit a layup and anthree-pointer at the 17:58 mark to regain the double-digit lead.
It wasn't until the 7:28 mark of the second half that Westminster was able to pull back within single digits when Carter Wands hit a layup to make the score 61-52. The nine-point deficit would be the closest Westminster could come to the Beavers until Tabb scored a layup with 52 seconds to play to come within seven points, but the clock ran out for Westminster and Blackburn was able to pull off the 73-62 upset of the Blue Jays.
"We finally got some things going and ultimately had a pretty good chance with five minutes to go," said Mitchell. "We struggled today from the freethrow line and missed open shots. It just wasn't our best effort."
Tabb led all scorers with 17 points, adding nine rebounds. Kobe Wands added 12 for the Blue Jays.
Westminster stays on the road, traveling to Eureka Saturday, December 8 to continue SLIAC play.