Men’s Basketball Starts Season With 1-1 Record After Tip Off Classic

The men’s basketball team hosted the Henry P. Iba Tip Off Classic to kick off the 2013-14 season. The Westminster Blue Jays opened play with a 70-66 win over Elmhurst College on Friday night. The Blue Jays went on to play Millikin University on Saturday evening. After a close 31 minutes of play, the Millikin Big Blue pulled the lead and defeated the Blue Jays 55-47. The Blue Jays begin the season with a 1-1 record.

The Blue Jays quickly grabbed the lead Friday night versus Elmhurst and held it for the first 10 minutes of play. Junior Brandon Moore jump-started the Blue Jay run after the game was tied up six times, and the Blue Jays headed into halftime up 37-27. The Blue Jays held the lead throughout the second half, but Elmhurst brought the game to within 1 (55-54) with 8:04 left in the game. The Blue Jays countered with a 10-0 run to leave the Blue Jays up 65-54 with 5:31 left in play. Elmhurst cut their deficit to just three points with 8 seconds left of play, but the Blue Jays pulled out the 70-66 win.

The Blue Jays shot 42.3 percent from the field, led by senior Joe James with 22 points. Moore finished with 19 points and Verdis Lee Jr. finished with 14 points and 7 rebounds.

On Saturday evening, the Blue Jays faced the Millikin Big Blue. The Big Blue quickly hit two three’s to start the game, giving the Blue Jays the early deficit. A three-pointer by sophomore Jay Zalis gave the Blue Jays the first lead of the game (17-16), but the Big Blue answered back with an 8-0 run. Heading into halftime, the Blue Jays were down 24-28. After three lead changes, Millikin took the lead and held onto it until the end of the game, handing the Blue Jays their first season loss, 47-55.

Lee Jr. led the Blue Jays’ offense with 10 points after going 4-5 from the field. James led the Blue Jays with nine rebounds, four assists and four steals.

The Blue Jays will head to Milwaukee, Wisconsin on Saturday, November 23 to play MSOE at 7:00 p.m. The game will have live stats here.

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