On February 22nd, Blackburn College Men's Basketball team travelled to Webster University to take on the Webster University Gorloks in the first round of the conference tournament. After watching the conclusion of the first game, between Greenville University and Eureka College, Eureka College came out on top 163-146, the Beavers looked to advance past Webster to take on the Red Devils in the final to have a shot at the NCAA tournament. The Beavers played a hard fought game where they came back after being down as many as 14 points, however the hot shooting by Josh Johnson of Webster University and a last second runner by Johnson ended the Beavers championship hopes as the Blackburn fell to Webster by a final score of 70-68.
Blackburn started the game and jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead with just one minute off the clock but the tough zone defense by the Gorloks made it difficult for the Beavers to get off quality shots as the Gorloks went on an 11-0 run. During that time the Beavers did not score for nearly seven minutes. With the Beavers struggling to find the bottom of the net in the first half, the Gorloks, led by Josh Johnson continued a first half dominance capped off by a double clutch three from the corner to the end the half at the buzzer by Johnson, Blackburn found themselves down by nine points, 38-29 at the end of the first half.
In the second half, the Beavers made a charge at the Gorloks picking up the intensity on the defense end and hitting the glass hard for rebounds. Blackburn slowly chipped away at Webster's lead until the Beavers were within six points of the Gorloks. A big three from Junior Karson Hayes of Blackburn brought the game to a one possession game with one minute left on the game clock 67-64, Webster in the lead. With a made free throw by sophomore Bryson Kirby of Blackburn and a made free throw by Elijah Macias of webster, the score was 68-65. With eleven seconds on the clock, Bryson Kirby let a three fly from the right wing and buried it to tie the game at 68-68. With eleven seconds left, Josh Johnson dribbled down the floor beat his defender threw up a jump shot and banked it home to give Webster the lead with 1.9 seconds remaining in regulations. The Beavers attempt to win the game was halted by a steal from the Gorloks as the final score was 70-68, with the Gorloks edging the Beavers to advance to the Conference championship.
Leading the way for Blackburn was Karson Hayes with 18 points, followed closely by Raushaun Amos, who came off the bench for 15 points. Jamaya Wyatt and Kirby both grabbed a team high six rebounds, and Hayes recorded a team high three assists.
The Beavers finish the season 13-13 overall and 10-8 in conference play.