Westminster Men Win Championship And NCAA Berth
ST. LOUIS -- For the past three years the Westminster College men's basketball squad has played in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference tournament championship, and for the second time in three years the Blue Jays have come out winners.
Sophomore Joe James was named tournament Most Valuable Player for hitting a 3-pointer as time expired to give second-seeded Westminster (17-10) a 58-56 victory over fourth-seeded MacMurray College (14-13) Saturday at Webster University. Westminster, which won tournament titles in 1995 and 2010, advances to the NCAA Division III national tournament.
Westminster trailed 32-30 at halftime, but regained the lead early in the second half and built up a nine-point lead at 45-36 with just over 15 minutes remaining. MacMurray cut into the deficit and the lead changed hands four more times until MacMurray went up 56-55 with 1:29 remaining. The Blue Jays, who hit 44 percent from the field for the game, missed a couple of shots and turned the ball over down the stretch before James scored the game-winner.
Senior Kelsey Weymuth led the Westminster offense, finishing with a season-high 18 points and nine rebounds, and fellow senior Kurt Kovach contributed 17 points and seven rebounds. Freshman Verdis Lee scored 11 points to join James on the all-tournament team, James chipped in nine and junior Skylar Tolson tallied three points. Brady Slagle led MacMurray with 13 points.