The Westminster men's basketball team traveled to Warrensburg, Missouri to face off with the reigning NCAA Division II National Champions, the Central Missouri Mules, on Saturday afternoon. The Westminster Blue Jays were unable to pick up their first win of the season, losing by 23 points, 91-68.
Two buckets from the foul line by sophomore Tanner Gentges gave the Blue Jays the 2-0 advantage a minute into the game. The Mules hit a three, but junior Matt Murphy hit a three-pointer just 30 seconds later, taking back the lead, 5-3.
Sophomore Javier Martin Ortega ended the two minute span of no scoring with a layup. Senior Brandon Moore hit a jumper to take the 9-5 lead with 15:34 on the clock, but the Mules blasted eight unanswered points.
Two layups, a jump shot, a three-pointer and a free throw brought the Blue Jays within one with 9:27 left in the first, 20-19. A good three from downtown by Moore gave the Blue Jays the 25-24 lead with just under eight minutes to go, but the Mules hit a 10-0 run to steal back the lead. In the final three minutes of the first half, the Mules outscored the Blue Jays 9-3.
Coming into the second half, the Blue Jays trailed 43-28. Moore scored the first point of the second half, putting in a layup a minute in. The Blue Jays were scoreless for the next two minutes while the Mules put up six points. The Mules led by 20 five minutes into the second half, 55-35. Martin Ortega put down a shot and went 2-2 from the free throw line to bring the score to 61-40 with 11:44 left of play.
With 4:37 left in the game, Central Missouri held a 30 point advantage over the Blue Jays. The Blue Jays held the Mules from scoring in the final 1:47 while scoring the final six points of the game. They cut their deficit to 23 points to end the game with a score of 91-68.
Moore led the Blue Jay's offense with 18 points after going 4-5 from the three-point line. Murphy added 13 points, shooting 50 percent from the field.
The Blue Jays host Central Christian in their first home game of the season on Monday, November 24. Tip-off is at 7:00 p.m. and will be streamed live here.