A Long Night For The Beavers

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With a deafening crowd in attendance, Blackburn college and MacMurray college came together for another exciting matchup. These two schools met back on December 5th, with MacMurray prevailing by two. This matchup proved to be just as exciting. 

After trading a few early baskets, a Chris Davis 3 pointer, followed by two Jamie Moore 3's had Blackburn up early 21-12. However, stagnant offense from Blackburn made it possible for MacMurray to cut into that lead as they quickly tied it up. A huge Jamie Moore tip slam put the Beavers up 35-32 with 3 minutes left in the half.

However, Kollin Keltner provided his own answer. Keltner went on a 9-0 run with three 3's in the span of a few minutes with the last one coming way behind the arc. Blackburn tried to respond but missed the last shot of the half and went into the locker room down 1.
The second half was the Brent Long show. The sophomore forward for MacMurray had 25 second half points on his way to a 36-point night. MacMurray fed him the ball early and often in the second half. "He's automatic when he catches on the block," said Beavers head coach Steve Kollar. "He does a phenomenal job of finishing. When they hit 3's in the first half, we got out of our game plan of getting the ball out of his hands. We didn't execute well."
As Long went to work down low extending the MacMurray lead to 7 with six minutes remaining, the Beavers had troubles getting anything going themselves on the offensive end. Coach Kollar gave insight as to the Beavers struggles offensively. "We have so many talented offensive players, we feel the need to answer a run with a single player getting us back into the game instead of getting a great possession. It's a part of us maturing as a team. We need to realize we become much more difficult to guard when we keep the ball moving and get great possessions."
Jake Maestranzi was able to keep the Beavers in hit as he hit some tough shots down the stretch. Jake, a junior, finished with 21 points and 7 assists with 0 turnovers. Because of this, Blackburn found themselves only down 3 with 1:23 left. However, a Tim Frazier 3 from the corner gave MacMurray a 6-point lead and they never looked back as they went on to win 85-73.
With a close finish, Coach Kollar had some encouraging words for the future. "I told the team we were there in the end. We just need to execute and get better everyday in practice." The Beavers take on Greenville at home this Saturday at 3pm.