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Men’s Basketball: Titans Drop First Game of Season to W&J

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Reese Leone

NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. – The Westminster College men's basketball team lost, 64-63, to Washington & Jefferson at home Saturday for its first loss of the season.

Senior Isaac Stamatiades (Elkridge, MD / Avalon) led the Titans with his fourth-straight double-double of the season (seven-straight dating back to last year) and 23rd for his career with team-highs of 13 points and 14 rebounds, to go along with a game-high three blocks. Also scoring in double-digits for Westminster were first-year Reese Leone (Beloit, OH / West Branch) and sophomore Austin O'Hara (Girard, OH / Girard) with 12 and 11 points, respectively. Leone also dished out a game-high seven assists, while O'Hara added a career-high six. O'Hara also had a career-best six boards.

Down 61-58 with less than 1:30 left in the game, the Titans tied the game following an offensive rebound by O'Hara who found Leone for a three-pointer. Leone grabbed the defensive rebound on the Presidents' following possession and dished the ball to classmate Andrew Clark (New Middletown, OH / Springfield Local) for a fastbreak-layup, putting Westminster in front, 63-61, with 30 seconds left. W&J took advantage of a costly Westminster turnover with 17 seconds left with a second chance-three of its own, courtesy of AJ Blue, for the eventual game-winning three.  

In the beginning of the game, W&J (2-1) extended its 10-9 lead with a 6-0 run and led 16-9 with 13:14 on the clock. Westminster (3-1) responded with a 9-0 run to take its first lead of the game at 18-16. The Titans extended their lead to 28-19 with a 10-3 run with five minutes left. The Presidents chipped away at the Titans' lead and Westminster held onto a 30-27 halftime lead.

The Presidents regained the lead (their first since midway through the first half), 36-35, four minutes into the second half. The next five minutes went back-and-forth until Westminster took a two-possession lead, 50-44, after senior Anthony Ritter (North Lima, OH / South Range) drained a three with 10:47 remaining. W&J continued to battle until it took a 61-58 lead, following back-to-back layups by Kyran Mitchell.

Also for the Titans, Clark added nine points, five rebounds and a team-high three steals. Senior Josh Hutcherson (Uniontown, OH / Uniontown Lake) registered a career-high eight rebounds, to go along with six points. Ritter earned seven points. Cameron Seemann led W&J with a game-high 19 points.

For the game, Westminster outrebounded the Presidents, 51-42. W&J held a slight advantage in shooting, 34.7% (25-72) to 34.4% (22-64).

The Titans will next play at Thiel on Wednesday, Feb. 17 with a start time of 6 p.m.

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