Blackburn college and Webster university faced each other in an exciting Wednesday night SLIAC matchup. They previously met at Blackburn on January 2nd where Blackburn won 77-73.
From the tip, Blackburn brought energy both on the defensive end and on the glass. Early plays on deflections and steals along with two early three pointers by DeAndre Manuel had Blackburn out to an early lead.
Blackburn was dominant on the glass in the 1st half, as they held a 21-13 advantage to go along with 11 offensive rebounds at halftime. Damon Goodloe was a key part of that as he had 4 offensive rebounds in just six minutes of play in the first half. Head coach Steve Kollar was especially proud of his guys efforts. "We had a phenomenal effort on the glass from the beginning. I thought Damon set the tone with his effort. We didn't shoot well tonight so the second chances were huge for us." Blackburn was able to take these efforts and translate it into a 12-point halftime lead.
In the second half, things became much closer. Blackburn still won the glass in the second half, but only by one. Combine that with Hunter Wards' 11 second half points and Webster pulled to as close as 3 in the second half. In the previous game, Blackburn also had a 12-point lead but it got erased as they eventually lost to Greenville. Coach Kollar described the difference tonight. "We kept our composure. We had a similar situation last game and we stopped defending and rebounding. Tonight, we did a great job of buckling down and getting stops when needed."
Webster made a run, but was unable to make it any closer than 3 as Chris Davis and DeAndre Manuel hit some key free throws down the stretch. Blackburn went on to win 71-66. Chris Davis led the Beavers with 23 points to go along with 5 rebounds. DeAndre Manuel chipped in 17 points to go along with 7 rebounds. Blackburn returns home this Saturday to take on Principia at 3pm.