As the end of the season nears, the basketball teams took the court in their final home game of the year hoping to prevail against their SLIAC opponent for the night, Webster University. With both Blackburn teams looking for a win, only one would find that success as the women faced another tough loss and the men avoided heartbreak with an overtime victory.
In the women’s game, they hoped to build some momentum going into next season. However, the team got out to a slow start, scoring just eight points in the entire first quarter, and matching that number in the second quarter. In the second half, the team appeared to gain a second life as they went off for twenty points in the third quarter. Unfortunately they were unable to keep up the pace in the fourth as they were once again held to single digits.
Kate Smith and Jenna Dudra lead the team in scoring, with 11 and 10 points respectively. One of the difference makers in the game was the long ball as the Beavers were just 3-16 (Dudra accounting for two and Smith with the other) from the three-point line while their opponents nearly doubled their success rate, going 7-19. Webster was led in scoring by Aley Lucas and Kelsey Miller with 23 points combined. Blackburn fell by a final score of 36-59.
While the women showed great heart throughout the season while being forced to overcome adversity, they finished their season with a record of 2-23.
The second game of the night brought in a packed Dawes Gymnasium for a game with major postseason implications and the fans certainly got their money’s worth as the Beavers and Gorloks did not disappoint.
From start to finish, there was never a dull moment on Wednesday night as the two teams knew what was at stake — a spot in the playoffs. Last season, the Beavers had high hopes of a conference tournament birth as they neared the end of the final stretch of the regular season, but a major injury to senior guard Chris Davis sucked the momentum right out of them as they went 1-3 in their final four games, eliminating themselves from contention. This year, the Beavers found themselves in control of their own destiny in the final few games of the season. And this year, they were determined to write a new story.
In an overtime thriller that tallied nine ties and 17 lead changes, the Blackburn men dug deep and found a way to get the job done in the final seconds of the game as senior Reed Rusten sunk a three-pointer in front of the Blackburn bench to put his team up for good. The team was lead by Karson Hayes with 12 points, closely followed by Rusten with 11 and Jamaya Wyatt and Jordan Clay each adding 10. The Beavers won by a score of 78-77.