Ricky Baptist, Director of Sports Information
BABSON PARK, Fla. – The final game of a stretch of three games in three days for the Webber International University men’s basketball team saw the Warriors get back into the win column as Webber defeated Ecclesia College 76-42 on Saturday evening inside the Sabbagh Athletic Center.
It was also the final nonconference game of the season for Webber, which improved to 6-9 overall and will now begin a stretch of 15 straight conference games in 2021 to close out the regular season.
Kris Goettert led the Warriors with a career-high 24 points on great 10-for-13 shooting from the field and a 4-for-4 mark from the free throw line. He also added eight rebounds.
Next in scoring was Rasheem Etienne with 15 points as he went 7-for-8 from the free throw line while adding seven boards and six assists.
Terrance Lakes scored nine points and added four assists, and Eddie Davis had eight points, three assists and three steals. Last but not least, Marcus Massey and Deante Green both had five points.
In the first half, Webber led by as much as nine points at 21-12 on a layup by Lakes with nine minutes left before the intermission. Then at halftime, Webber led 31-26 after a jumper and two free throws by Etienne made a one-point lead for the Warriors a five-point margin.
In the second half, Webber went up by nine again (35-26) with four straight points by Goettert to open the period, and then the Warriors took their first double-digit lead of the night on a layup by Etienne to make it 44-33 with 13:24 remaining.
Etienne then hit a jumper less than a minute later to make it a 13-point game at 46-33, but a 8-0 run for Ecclesia (2-9 overall) over the next three and a half minutes made it only a four-point game at 46-41 with 10 minutes on the clock.
Over the next five minutes, the Warriors answered with a big run of their own, a 12-1 stretch featuring eight points by Goettert to lead it by 16 at 58-42.
Webber shot 62.96 percent (17-27) from the field in the second half and finished the game a strong 87.5 percent (14-16) from the free throw line after shooting 8-or-8 from the line from the first half and making each of its first 13 free throws of the game overall.
The Warriors also held the Royals to only 8.3 percent shooting (2-24) from the 3-point line, and took advantage of 20 Royal turnovers to outscore them 23-14 on points off turnovers.
“I am so proud of this team for battling through a tough week the way they did,” said Head Coach Gabriel Rutledge. “They continue to grow and overcome adversity. We are learning a lot of life lessons along the way, and that’s what I’m most excited about. Everyone who played tonight followed the game plan and gave all they had. My entire staff did a terrific job preparing the team, and I appreciate them very much. We now get a very much needed break to prepare ourselves for conference play. Go Warriors.”
This was the final game of 2020 for the Warriors, who now will not return to the court until after the New Year. The next game on Saturday, January 2, will also mark Webber’s return to Sun Conference action as the Warriors play at Keiser University at 4 p.m. in West Palm Beach, Florida. It will also be the beginning of a stretch of 15 straight conference games to close out the regular season for Webber.