The Blackburn College Men's Basketball Team used their bench players to full advantage in a 84-77 St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference victory over MacMurray College on Wednesday night in Jacksonville. The Beavers bench out-scored MacMurray 37-12 on the night to move to 11-9 overall and 8-5 in the SLIAC.
Blackburn received their typical balance in scoring as Chris Davis and Jake Maestranzi each scored twelve points for the Beavers and Willie Orange added ten points. Reed Rusten scored eight points off the bench to lead the reserves.
The first half played to a 39-39 tie but not before Blackburn took a 25-17 lead for their biggest advantage of the first half. The Highlanders then went on a 12-0 run to take a 29-25 lead with five minutes to play in the half. Blackburn closed the half with a 12-5 run to tie the game.
The second half was back and forth until the final two minutes when Maestranzi scored nine of his points, coming a three-pointer and then going six for six from the foul line. Maestranzi helped account for the final eleven points of the game as the other basket by Willie Orange was off a Maestranzi assist.
Both teams shot 46 percent from the field but the big difference was at the foul line as MacMurray missed thirteen free throws while Blackburn made 76 percent of theirs.
The Beavers are in the fourth spot currently for a conference tournament berth which would be the first one since 2006.
Blackburn hosts Principia at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday in Carlinville.