Coming off of a split with SLIAC rivals Westminster College, the Blackburn women looked to get back in the win column against MacMurray College on Saturday while the Blackburn men hoped to ride their momentum and pick up a second-straight conference victory. Unfortunately for the Beavers, neither of these things happened.
On the women’s side of things, the team looked to be playing some of their best basketball all season as they got off to a 9-0 lead after a hot start from freshman Savannah Kruse who accounted for six of those nine points and Jenna Dudra who knocked down a three from the corner. Blackburn’s offense continued to click through the first two quarters, but they entered the half down by a point as MacMurray’s Liz Kruemmelbein, assisted by Shelby Fink, hit a three-pointer as time expired.
While the Beavers came out determined to end their 14-game losing streak, the Kruemmelbein-Fink combination proved to be too much as they combined for an 8-14 performance from behind the three-point line and 44 points — 24 and 20 respectively — while leading the Highlanders to a hard fought 85-81 overtime victory.
Maria Cline finished the game with 20 points while Kruse, Kate Smith and Jenna Dudra added 19, 14 and 11. Dudra also continued to show off her unbelievable instincts, adding four more steals to an impressive 51-steal season.
On the men’s side, they came off a 17, 13 and 12- point performances from freshman Duncan King and seniors Karson Hayes and Malcolm Scott and hoped to continue that success against their conference rivals, but similarly to the women, they fell just short to the Highlanders.
The men battled from start to finish in a neck-and-neck matchup and entered the half looking strong, finding themselves up 37-34. Scott put up yet another big game, contributing 19 points and 9 rebounds. Fellow senior Reed Rusten added another 15 points and 7 rebounds, however their work could not match that of MacMurray’s Kendall Davis, Brent Long and Michael Cameron who combined totaled 49 points, 15 rebounds and 12 assists. The Beavers fell 81-75.