Carlinville, IL 1/28/2023- The Westminster College men's basketball team took on Blackburn College on Saturday and they would need overtime to decide a winner. In the end, the Beavers would win the game 86-84. They improve to 3-5 in the SLIAC and 7-12 overall. The Blue Jays fall to 1-7 in the SLIAC and 2-17 on the season.
Blackburn started the game with a 6-2 lead. The Blue Jays would come back and take a 7-6 lead. This would be the start of 40 total lead changes and 12 ties, in what was truly a back-and-forth affair. The Blue Jays would lead by 12 points in the game and Blackburn never had a lead larger than 4 points. Westminster would lead 44-34 at the half.
The Beavers would hit a three to start the second half and then scored on an offensive rebound put back. The Blue Jays would commit a turnover on their next possession that led to a timeout. Caleb Maassen (Linn, MO/ Linn) would score coming out of the timeout off an assist from Brennan Jefferies (Jefferson City, MO/ Jefferson City) to go back up 7, 46-39. The Blue Jays would hold that lead for the next 8 minutes of game time. Blackburn would hit back-to-back threes to make 64-62 with 7:18 left to play. The Blue Jays would call a timeout to regroup.
Jaxon Althaus (Oak Grove, Mo/ Oak Grove) would hit a three after the timeout to go up 67-62. He would make a layup to put the Jays up 69-62 with 5 minutes left in the game. The Beavers would take the lead 73-71 after hitting another three-pointer with 1:28 left. Kaden Eirhart (Altamont, IL / Altamont) got fouled and would make two free throws to tie the game 73-73 and 30 seconds on the clock. The Beavers missed a three at the buzzer and the game went into overtime.
They fouled Althaus to start the overtime period, he would go 2-2 and put the Blue Jays up 75-73. The Beavers would regain the lead on their next possession, after making their ninth three-pointer of the game, going up 76-75. The Jays would make a layup to take the lead back. The Beavers stayed hot from behind the arc and hit their tenth three of the game to go up 79-77. Makygh Galbreath (Fulton, MO/Fulton) answered with a three-pointer of his own to give Westminster an 80-79 lead with 1:55 left. Blackburn would make a layup to go back on top, then they forced a turnover by the Blue Jays that resulted a foul, sending the Beavers to the line for two free throws. They would make both to take an 83-80 lead. Maassen would make a layup off an assist from Tre Kempker (Eugene, MO/Eugene) to put Westminster down 1 point. The Blue Jays' next possession Coby Williams (Versailles, Mo. / Morgan County R-2) was wide open near the three-point line, he would nail the shot. They ruled it a two-pointer, and he gave Westminster a one-point lead, 84-83 with 24 seconds left. Blackburn would answer and go back up 85-84. The Blue Jays would turn the ball on their next possession with one second left. A foul was called sending Blackburn to the line, and they would make one free throw and win the game 86-84.
Westminster had 5 players score in double figures. Althaus led the Blue Jay attack with 21 points and 5 rebounds. He was 4-6 from three. Eirhart had 16 points off the bench. Galbreath had 14 points and was 4-5 from behind the arc. Kempker and Maassen both had 10 points in the game.
The Blue Jays are back in action on Tuesday, January 31st when they host Principia College for the annual Coaches vs Cancer game. That game will tip off at 7:30.