Blackburn sports round up Jan. 31, 2013

Men’s Basketball
The Blackburn College men’s basketball team dropped a pair of St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference games last week in Carlinville. Saturday when Greenville College jumped to a 15-2 lead to start the game, it appeared as if the men’s team was in trouble.  It got even worse when the deficit reached 20 at the half.  However the Beavers battled back, going on an 11-0 run and put the pressure on Greenville to start the second half. Eventually Greenville pulled away and eliminated any sort of comeback as they won by a score of 78-66.

The second half excitement was powered by Sophomore Jon Lowry and Freshman Jordan Gesner who were responsible for all eleven points. Greenville eventually rebounded but was unable to pull away as Blackburn’s ball movement led to a lot of easy buckets.

For the Beavers, Jon Lowry and Ira Williams each had eleven points and two assists. James Gowin threw in 10 points and four rebounds.

Last Wednesday the Beavers hosted Eureka College and the Beaver hoopers began to show signs of ending their current losing streak to a very tough Eureka College on Wednesday evening.  However their efforts were not enough as they eventually lost by a score of 75-64. The Beavers jumped out to a 12-11 lead early in the first half but Eureka’s Mark Lessen took over as he scored 16 of his game high 31 points to pull Eureka to a 39-29 lead at the half.

The action heated up in the second half when Blackburn went on a 17-8 run, powered by Brandon Hill and Ira Williams, to narrow the deficit to three. The momentum changed against Blackburn’s favor as Eureka’s Lessen took over the game yet again late in the second half to put it out of reach.

For the Beavers, Brandon Hill led the way with 19 points and three assists, while Ira Williams and Matt Chandler added nine points to the cause. Blackburn now sits with a 1-18.

Women’s Basketball
In a game that featured back and forth battle throughout, the Blackburn College women’s basketball team fell a tad short to the Greenville College Panthers. The game ended with Blackburn on the losing end of a 69-65 overtime decision.

Neither team could surpass a lead of eight points. Greenville led the Beavers by eight early in the game with a score of 15-7. Blackburn gained control and saw their only eight point lead of the game as they went on a 19-3 stretch that ended with six and a half minutes left in the first half. Blackburn would keep the lead going into the intermission by a score of 33-29.

In the early goings of the second half, the deficit for either team never rose above four until the Beavers finally had a five point lead with 10:50 remaining. They had the lead the entire half until Greenville’s Emily Gundy hit a three pointer with 6:24 left to hand her team a 54-53 lead.

With Blackburn down two points a little later, Rashonda Willis changed the tides on the Panthers by knocking down three of her own and stealing the lead back. Two consecutive baskets by Greenville had them inching closer to victory with under two minutes to play. Down by three, Blackburn’s Danique Smith crisply passed the ball over to Shelby Smith in the corner. She put the team on her back and knotted the game up at 60 with 1:38 to play.

Blackburn nor Greenville could find another bucket as overtime was forced. Rashonda Willis made another three on the first possession, but that was all Blackburn could produce in the extra period. Erin Bell added a bucket, but it couldn’t match Greenville’s nine points.

Shelby Smith led all scorers with 17 points and Rashonda Willis was right behind her adding 14 of her own. The two of them made seven of the team’s eight three-pointers in the game. Willis also added five each of rebounds, steals, and assists, playing an all-around impressive game.

Last Wednesday, January 23, the Blackburn College women’s basketball team lost a tough 63-51 game to the Eureka College Red Devils.

The Beavers had three players that notched double digits in scoring. Shelby Smith led the team with 18 points and Briana Rae was right behind with 14 points. Rashonda Willis added 11 points in the game. The three combined to score all but eight of the Beavers’ 51 points.

Rae led the team with nine boards while Willis collected eight. Smith and Willis each led Blackburn with four steals as well. Blackburn amassed 12 steals to Eureka’s five.

Although the Blackburn trio was impressive, they could not outperform the Eureka duo of Caty Eeten and Kelsey Shoemake. Eeten piled up 30 points and eight rebounds on the night while Shoemake earned a double by scoring 17 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.

Blackburn trailed 32-24 going into halftime and then began a slight comeback in the second half. The Beavers were only out-scored 31-27 in the back end of the contest. One key component in the game was the free throw shooting. Eureka made 15 of 16 from the line, including a perfect 9 of 9 from Eeten. Blackburn also shot well from the line by making 8 of 12. With the losses, the Beavers fall to 2-16 overall and 2-8 in SLIAC play.