GREENVILLE, Pa. - The Westminster College men's basketball team won, 86-69, against Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) foe Thiel College on the road on Wednesday evening.
The Titans had five players score in double figures, led by junior Tyler James (Youngstown, OH / Warren JFK) with 15 points, who also had a game-high 14 rebounds, and senior Isaac Stamatiades (Elkridge, MD / Avalon) who dropped a team-high 18 points, while corralling 10 rebounds for his eighth-straight double-double dating back to last year (24th career).
Westminster (4-1) started strong, building a 17-8 lead over Thiel (0-1) just over five minutes into the game. The Tomcats mounted a comeback, cutting the deficit to one as they trailed 24-23 with 8:40 left in the first half. Unable to take the lead, Thiel stayed within striking distance and trailed by two, 35-33 with 3:51 left. The Titans closed the half with authority, as they mounted an 11-4 run to close out the period and went into intermission with a 46-37 lead.
After Thiel collected the first two baskets of the second half to make the score 46-42, Westminster went on a 7-0 run - capped off by an and-1 by James to make the score 53-42 in favor of the Titans with 16:56 remaining. The Tomcats got the deficit to seven with 14:52 left in the game (57-50), but that would be the closest they would get, as a 16-7 run by Westminster (73-57) put the game out of reach just over seven minutes remaining.
Along with James and Stamatiades, senior Daniel Ritter (North Lima, OH / South Range) boosted the Titans with 16 points and three rebounds. Ritter shot an efficient 6-for-7 from the floor. First-year Reese Leone (Beloit, OH / West Branch) continued to excel with his passing, dishing out a game-high seven assists (third-straight game with 7+ assists) to go along with 12 points and a pair of rebounds. Senior Josh Hutcherson (Uniontown, OH / Uniontown Lake) also finished in double figures with 12 points and grabbed four rebounds. First-year Andrew Clark (New Middletown OH / Springfield Local) deposited eight points, grabbed five boards and pocketed a game-high two steals. Sophomore Austin O'Hara (Girard, OH / Girard) also tacked on five points.
For the game, Westminster out-shot the Tomcats 53.1% (34-64) to 40.3% (27-67). Westminster edged Thiel on the glass (46-31) and bested the Tomcats in second chance points (21-9). The Titans also shot an impressive 44.4% (8-18) from long range and dished out 17 assists.
Westminster is next scheduled to play at home against the Grove City College Wolverines on Saturday, Feb. 20 at 1:30 p.m.