ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Behind a career-high 27 points and 12 rebounds from sophomore Eric Savage the No. 6 men's basketball picked up an 83-68 win over Webster in the first game of the 34th Annual Lopata Classic hosted by Washington University. With the win the Jumbos will now face host and No. 9 ranked WashU on Saturday in the championship game of the tournament.
|Luke Rogers scored ten points and collected seven boards in his collegiate debut.|
The game was the season opener for both the Jumbos and the Gorloks.
The scoring was slow to start, as both teams combined for just four points in the first three minutes. But, Savage broke that open with his fisrt three of the day and after a Gorlok layup, Savage added a layup of his own, sophomore Pat Racy added two of his own and another two from Savage gave the Jumbos an 11-4 lead about five minutes into the first half.
With the Jumbos up 17-12 the Gorloks got two from Christian Crespo and after a jumper from Elijah Macias, Crespo added two more that gave the Gorloks their first lead of the night, 18-17 about halfway through the first half. The Jumbos responded with a three from freshman Justin Kouyoumdjian, but then the Gorlocks tied it up at 20 with just under ten minutes left in the half. Two from senior captain Vincent Pace gave the Jumbos the lead again, and they were able to hold on to and grow that to a 44-34 advantage at the break.
Savage led all scorers at the half with 20 of the Jumbos 44 points and he also had six rebounds. For the Gorloks Crespo was the point leader at the half with nine off the bench.
The two teams traded threes to open up the second half. Senior captain Thomas Lapham made one first, followed by one from Nigel Wilcox for the Gorloks and then the Jumbos got another from Savage to move their lead to 50-37. The two teams traded points, but the Jumbso led by ten for most of the first half of the second frame.
A layup from freshman Luke Rogers gave the Jumbos the 58-48 advantage about halfway through the second period. Kouyoumdjian added a free throw, and then Rogers sunk two from the charity stripe and then added two layups to give the Jumbos the 65-48 advantage. That would be too much for the Gorloks to overcome, as Tufts picked up the 83-68 win.
Savage led all point scorers with the second double-double of his career with 27 points, 12 rebounds and five assists. Pace added 11 points and ten boards, Lapham finished with nine points and seven assists. Off the bench for the Jumbos Rogers had ten points and seven rebounds. Sophomore Miles Bowser also helped with seven points.
For the Gorloks Enrique Tankins, Wilcox and Crespo all finished with nine points. Wilcox added eight rebounds. Rodson Etienne finished with eights points and Michael Dunn scored seven.
The Jumbos will now take on the host WashU Bears in the championship game of the tournament on Saturday at 8 pm (EST). Webster will take on Wabash in the consolation game of the tournament at 6 pm (EST) on Saturday.