HOLLAND, Mich. – The Westminster College men's basketball team lost, 87-77, to Olivet College in their final game of Hope College's Russ DeVette Holiday Classic on Saturday.
Westminster (7-5) was in the lead for over 15 minutes of the first half. The Titans led by as much as nine points twice, with the last one coming at 26-17 with just under eight minutes left. Olivet (2-8) mustered a 12-2 run to regain the lead at 29-28. Both teams continued to battle and Westminster led 39-38 at intermission. The first five minutes of the second half consisted of three lead changes with the last one going to the Comets (49-48). Olivet maintained the lead for the rest of the game, while have its largest lead of 12 points (78-66) with 4:31 to play. The Titans cut Olivet's lead to two possessions (82-77) after junior Josh Hutcherson (Uniontown, OH / Uniontown Lake) converted on a traditional three-point play with 1:40 on the clock, however, the deficit proved too large to overcome for the Titans.
Hutcherson led the Titans with a career-high 19 points (8-for-11). Three other Titans scored in double-digits: seniors Dylan O'Hara (Girard, OH / Girard) (16), Blake Payne (Ashtabula, OH / Jefferson Area) (14), and Ricky Roth (Ellwood City, PA / Lincoln) (13). Payne grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds for his first double-double of the season (sixth of his career). O'Hara added two steals, while senior Preston Stitt (Boardman, OH / South Range) earned three assists.
Westminster outshot Olivet 46.2% (30-65) to 42.7% (32-75) and held a 40-36 advantage in rebounds.
The Titans concluded their non-conference slate for the season. Westminster is back in action Saturday, Jan. 4 at home versus PAC foe Washington & Jefferson College at 3:30 p.m.