Blackburn sports round-up Feb. 21, 2013

The Blackburn College Men’s basketball team wrapped up their season this past week with a pair of St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference losses. Feb. 13 the Beavers travelled to Jacksonville to take on MacMurray College. Blackburn took a 34-31 halftime lead before eventually falling 81-67 to the Highlanders. MacMurray shot a blistering 78 percent from the field in the second half. Brandon Hill led the Beavers with 14 points while Brandon Adams contributed 12 points and a team-high eight rebounds. MacMurray opened the second half with a 15-4 run to take the lead for good, Blackburn never got closer than six points the rest of the way.

The Beavers hosted Webster University on senior day for Blackburn Feb. 16.  Seniors Ira Williams, James Gowin, and Brandon Adams all played their final game of their college career. The first half was a battle in the paint as Webster outworked Blackburn scoring 24 points down low. Blackburn retaliated with a quick 7-0 run with Jon Lowry getting all the action. However, the Beavers sent the Gorloks to the line seven times to end the half and Webster went into halftime with a 14-point cushion. Yet again, Blackburn came out in the second half hot and quickly narrowed the deficit to seven with a 13-5 run. The senior trio of Williams, Gowin, and Adams were responsible for ten of the thirteen points. But just as the Beavers got hot, it became a struggle to put the ball in the basket shooting an ice cold 6-21 for the remainder of the game. Playing with an injured knee, senior Ira Williams scored a team high 10 points as he shot 100 percent from the field going 4-4 and 2-2 from the charity stripe.  For the 12th time this season, Jon Lowry scored double digits chipping in 10 points of his own.

Blackburn wrapped up the season with a record of 2-23 and a conference record of 2-14.

Women’s Basketball
The Blackburn College Women’s basketball team closed out their season this past week with a pair of St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference losses. The Beavers took MacMurray College into overtime until falling 75-68 Feb. 13. The back and forth contest went to overtime when Briana Rae nailed a jumper at the buzzer. Rae led all scorers with 27 points. Shelby Smith added 21 points for the Beavers.  MacMurray took control in the last two minutes of overtime and made their foul shots to hold off the Beavers to split the season series. Blackburn shot 41 percent from the field on 25 of 61 from the field for the evening.  Shelby Smith pulled down nine rebounds to lead the Beavers.

The team finished out the 2012-2013 campaign with a loss Feb. in Carlinville. The Dawes gym was packed with the largest crowd of the season, but the visiting Gorloks of Webster University snuck out with a 55-44 victory. Briana Rae and Shelby Smith got Blackburn going with a 5-0 lead early, but then the Gorloks took over by going on a 25-6 run.  The Beavers countered with a run of 9-2 to make the deficit nine points going into halftime (26-17).

The lead would remain around the 10-point mark throughout the remainder of the game as Blackburn couldn’t muster a comeback. Webster eventually finished off Blackburn by 11 points. Shelby Smith had a team high output of 16 points again followed by Briana Rae with 12. The two of them were a constant, continuous 1-2 punch for the Beavers all year long. Rae out-rebounded Smith on the evening eight to seven, again going one and two for the team lead. Smith also swatted away four Webster shots on the afternoon. Seniors Rashonda Willis and Kylie Sparks played in their final game of their career. Willis led the team in steals by grabbing four while Sparks led the team in assists by dishing out three. Sparks added nine points for Blackburn, which was a season-high for her.  The Gorloks’ Maggie Zehner was the game’s leading scorer with 17 points. Cassie Endicott added 16 points to help the Gorloks.

The Beavers completed the season with an overall record of 3-21 and 3-13 in SLIAC play.