NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. – The Westminster College men's basketball team won, 69-56, over Washington & Jefferson College in Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) action at home Saturday.
The first half consisted of 10 lead changes and three ties, with the latest one coming at 21-21 with 4:20 left. Westminster 8-5 (3-1 PAC) finished the first half strong, outscoring Washington & Jefferson (7-5, 2-2 PAC) 17-6 to lead 38-27 at intermission. In the first frame, the Titans had nine second-chance points, compared to the Presidents' two. At halftime, Titan senior Blake Payne (Ashtabula, OH / Jefferson Area) led in points (17) and rebounds (9). In the second half, the Titans maintained their double-digit lead until the Presidents got within nine points (59-50) with less than four minutes remaining in the game. Westminster quickly retook a double-digit lead, following a jumper by Payne, and never lost it for the remainder of the game.
Titan junior Daniel Ritter (North Lima, OH / South Range) led all scorers with a career-high 28 points (10-of-14), including tying a career-best with a game-high four three-pointers (4-for-5), to go along with seven rebounds. Payne also surpassed the 20-point mark with 21 points, while earning his second double-double of the season (seventh of his career) with a game- and career-high 16 rebounds. Payne also drew a game-high five fouls. Junior Clay O'Dell (Vienna, OH / Kennedy Catholic) and freshman Austin O'Hara (Girard, OH / Girard) scored eight and six points, respectively. O'Dell also tied a career-high with a team-best three blocks. Senior Ricky Roth (Ellwood City, PA / Lincoln) dished out a team-high four assists.
Westminster outshot W&J 39.3% (24-61) to 31.9% (23-72). The Titans also held a 53-40 advantage in rebounds.
The Titans, who have just PAC contests remaining for the regular season, are back on the court Wednesday, Jan. 8 when they host Saint Vincent College at 8 p.m.