Webster Men Gain SLIAC Basketball Championship Berth

Feb. 28, 2014

Webster Men Gain SLIAC Basketball Championship Berth

The Webster University men's basketball team is headed to the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament championship after a 79-65 win over MacMurray College, on February 27 in Louisville, KY. Webster took the lead early and never relinquished it as the Gorlok starting five overpowered the Highlanders.

The Webster starters accounted for 74 of the team's 79 points, as four of the five hit double figures. Center Kevin Miller (SO, Belleville, IL/Belleville East HS) recorded his eighth double double of the season, scoring 21 points and grabbing a team-high 12 rebounds. Miller was 6-8 from the field and 9-12 from the free throw line.

Freshman Hunter Ward (St. Louis, MO/Kirkwood HS) had a team-high 22 points and four assists, four rebounds, and three steals. Ward hit 3-6 three-point attempts, including two very timely ones in the second half. Junior Ahmad Smith (St. Louis, MO/Clayton HS) had 15 points despite spending some time on the bench with foul troubles.

Aaron Griffin (JR, Farm Haven, MS/Velma Jackson HS) had 12 points on 6-9 shooting, and seven rebounds. All told, the starting five went 26-44 (.591) from the field. Hollis Edwards (SR, Nashville, TN/McGavock HS), having to leave the game early with an injury, was the only starter not to hit double figures…but still managed four points, three assists, and three rebounds.

Webster took at 29-19 lead with 4:30 left in the first half but settled for a 36-32 halftime lead. MacMurray tied the game at 50-50 at 13:00 in the second. But after a timeout seemed to rejuvenate the Gorloks, the team went on a 9-0 run.

A three-pointer by Ward started things off, and Griffin followed that with a short jumper. After a Ward 15-footer and a Miller rebound and layup, Webster led 59-50 at 8:30. MacMurray made one more run after a Highlander steal and layup made it 65-61 with 3:07 remaining. But that is as close as they would get as the Gorloks made their free throws down the stretch to secure the victory.

Webster will play host Spalding University, a 64-54 winner over Westminster College, in the final. The championship game will be played on March 1 at a 1:00 p.m. EDT. Info on the SLIAC Tournament can be found HERE.

Additionally, Kevin Miller (SO, Belleville, IL/Belleville East HS) and Ahmad Smith (Jr, St. Louis, MO/Clayton HS) garnered First Team All-Conference honors for the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference 2013-14 men's basketball team. Miller became a force in the middle for Webster after a three-year hiatus from the game, and Smith is closing in on the 1000-point mark in just his junior season. 

Miller has averaged 14.7 points and 8.4 rebounds per game, placing him seventh and second in those categories in the SLIAC. Smith is second in the SLIAC with a 16.5 points per game average, and has 58 assists and 44 steals on the season. Smith has 979 career points entering the SLIAC Championship on March 1. Smith was a SLIAC Second Team All-Conference selection in 2012-13.

Also honored was senior Hollis Edwards (Nashville, TN/McGavock). Edwards was an Honorable Mention choice, and was named to the SLIAC All-Defensive Team for a third straight year. Edwards will leave Webster as its all-time careeer leader in steals, currently with 183. His 72 steals in 2013-14 is the second highest single season total in Webster history.

Senior Jarrod Huskey (Hillsboro, MO/Hillsboro HS) was Webster's representative on the 2013-14 SLIAC All-Sportsmanship Basketball Team.