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NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. (Titan Athletics) – The Westminster College men’s basketball team won, 75-63, at home against Thiel College in a Presidents’ Athletic Conference (PAC) contest Wednesday night.
 
The first half was back and forth for the first seven minutes. Westminster led 13-9, led by junior Blake Payne (Ashtabula, OH / Jefferson Area) with six points, with 12:57 left. Westminster did not trail for the remainder of the half. With 3:05 left, a dunk from Alonzo Brown drew Thiel within five points of Westminster (28-23). The Titans followed with seven consecutive points, thanks to layups from Payne and junior Dylan O’Hara (Girard, OH / Girard) and a three-pointer from sophomore Anthony Ritter (North Lima, OH / South Range), to take a 35-23 lead with 2:07 left in the half. Thiel ended the half scoring four points to cut Westminster’s lead to 35-27 at halftime.
 
In the second half, Thiel tied the game at 35 and 38 and took a 47-45 lead with 13:18 remaining, its first lead since the opening minutes of the first half. The Tomcats led by five points twice, with the latest coming with 11:40 to go (52-47). The Titans answered with a 13-0 run, capped off with a layup by senior African Grant II (Warren, OH / Warren JFK), to take a commanding 60-52 lead with 8:29 to play. Westminster took a double-digit, 65-54 lead, and maintained it for the remainder of the contest.
 
Grant shot 5-for-9 from the field and 4-for-6 from the free throw line, tying a team-high and his season-high in points with 15. Grant also added six rebounds and tied a career- and season-high with a game-best three blocks. A. Ritter finished 6-for-10 from the field and 2-for-4 from three-point range, while also tying a team-high with 15 points. A. Ritter also added five rebounds and a block. Senior Austin Armwood (Columbus, OH / Westerville North) also tied a team-high with 15 points, shooting 6-for-11 from the field and 2-for-5 from beyond the arc. Armwood added two assists, two steals, and three rebounds. Payne also finished with double-digit points with 10 on 5-of-10 shooting and had six rebounds, two assists, and two blocks. Sophomore Isaac Stamatiades (Elkridge, MD / Avalon) finished with five points, six rebounds, two assists, and two blocks while tying a game- and career-high three steals.
 
The Titans will next compete at Waynesburg University Saturday, January 26 at 3:30 p.m.

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