Presidents Fall Just Short At Westminster 86-79
NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. -- Four Titans scored in double figures, led by Doug Smith's 24 points, as Westminster evened the PAC men's basketball season series with Washington & Jefferson after an 86-79 victory Saturday at Buzz Ridl Gymnasium.
The Titans (6-11, 2-7 PAC) built a 53-41 halftime lead after hitting 8-of-14 three-pointers in the opening 20 minutes.
After Westminster scored the first two buckets of the second half, W&J (7-11, 5-4 PAC) started a 22-4 run which put the Presidents in front 63-61 with 10:29 remaining. Senior forward Ben Cecchini (Jamestown, N.Y./Jamestown) led the spurt with 10 points.
Anthony Thomas then took over for the Titans, scoring nine of the team's next 14 points and giving WC a 75-67 lead at the 6:59 mark.
Senior guard Zach Bellhy's (McDonald, Pa./Fort Cherry) basket with 1:07 left on the clock brought the Presidents to within 80-77, but two offensive rebounds on the next Westminster possession led to Smith's putback and the Titans sealed the game at the free throw line.
Cecchini filled up the stat sheet for the Presidents with 21 points, nine rebounds, four blocks, three assists and three steals. He made 10-of-13 shots from the field in 31 minutes of action. Zach Bellhy contributed 20 points to become the 10th-leading scorer in school history, while his brother, sophomore forward Nate Bellhy (McDonald, Pa./Fort Cherry), added 10 points and six boards.
W&J shot 48 percent (30-of-63) overall, but only made 14-of-25 free throws. Over 53 percent (42-of-79) of the Presidents' points came in the paint.
Smith made 10-of-11 free throws for the Titans, who shot 43 percent (25-of-58). Thomas notched 14 points, while Paul Carswell (14 points, 11 rebounds) and Ron Martino (11 points) also posted double-figure scoring totals.
W&J looks to get back on track Wednesday night at Saint Vincent (7:30 pm).