Westminster Men Go 2-0 at Tip-Off Tournament
FULTON, MO -- The Westminster Blue Jays hosted the Tip-Off Tournament for three teams over the weekend. The Westminster men's basketball team ended the tournament 2-0. The Blue Jays beat Hendrix College Friday night 91-60 and Rhodes College Saturday evening 75-71.
Friday night the Blue Jays started the game against the Hendrix Warriors with a 6-0 lead from four free throws by Joe James and a two pointer by Joe Prophet. The scoring went back and forth until the Blue Jays went on a 9-0 run starting with a jumper by Jordan Jones. This put the Blue Jays up 25-8, only eight minutes into the game. The lead continued to rise, reaching a 28 point difference after a three pointer by Mik Ebert from Jones with eight minutes left in the first half. With 2:28 left in the first, Jay Zalis put in a three pointer from Jones to take the highest lead of the first half, 30 points. The Blue Jays went into halftime up 54-28.
The Blue Jays came out slow in the second half, only scoring ten points in the first six minutes. The Blue Jays never let the lead go below 20 points in the second, and reached their highest lead, 35 points (81-46), after James hit a three from Robbie Burroughs with eight minutes left in the game.
Burroughs led the team with 16 points after going 8 for 8 on free throws. James chipped in 14 points, going 4 for 5 on field goals and 4 for 4 on free throws. The Blue Jays had 31 total rebounds, led by Verdis Lee and Prophet with four a piece, and 15 assists from 8 players.
Saturday evening the Blue Jays battled the Rhodes College Lynx. The Blue Jays quickly fell behind in the first four minutes of the game. Two threes by Skylar Tolson from James put the Blue Jays within one five minutes into the game. The lead went back and forth between the Blue Jays and the Lynx for the rest of the half, but the Blue Jays were down 38-41 going into halftime.
The lead went back and forth in the second half also, until a jumper by Todd Stolte put the Blue Jays up by two (53-51) with 11 minutes left in the game. The last ten minutes were intense, but the Lynx were not able to take control of the lead. Lee went 4 for 4 on free throws in the last twenty seconds, putting the Blue Jays up 75-68. The Lynx hit a three with six seconds left, but the Blue Jays held on and pulled out the victory.
Lee led the team with 18 points, and Tolson contributed 14 points, going 5 for 5 on field goals. Lee also led the team with 6 rebounds, and Taylor Allen and Mookie Valandra chipped in 4 apiece. The Blue Jays had 13 assists from 7 players and 8 steals from 6 players.
The Blue Jays come back to action next Friday, November 23rd when they host MSOE at 7:00 p.m.