The Westminster Blue Jays outscored Eureka 38-25 in the second half of Saturday's game, but could not overcome their first half deficit, falling by three, 68-65. The loss brings the Blue Jays to 1-5 in conference play and 2-11 on the season.
Eureka took a seven point lead minutes into the game, but a jump shot in the paint by freshman Jordan Jones put the Blue Jays back in the game. With 11:43 left in the first half, the Blue Jays trailed by just three points, 15-12. The Eureka Red Devils pulled back their lead, putting them up by eight, then increasing it to 12 points with 8:34 remaining in the half.
In the final two and a half minutes, Eureka held a 17-point lead over Westminster. Freshman Tanner Cochran drained two free throws in the final minute to send the Blue Jays into halftime trailing 43-27.
Eureka took a 19-point lead over Westminster to start the second half, but junior Matt Murphy drained two from the three-point line, followed by a jump shot, to put the game within 11, 51-40.
Senior Brandon Moore hit a long jumper with 13:17 on the clock to start a 10-0 Blue Jay run; the run brought the Blue Jays within six points with 8:42 left to play.
Eureka put the game back into double digits with two good shots from the foul line, but Moore drained his two from the foul line to bring the game back within nine.
With six minutes on the clock, senior Verdis Lee Jr. knocked down a three-pointer to start an 8-0 run over the next three minutes. The run ended with a layup by junior Tanner Gentges to put the game within two points.
Eureka went up by four with 1:39 to play, but Cochran hit a three to bring the game to 64-63, Eureka. The Blue Jays immediately called a timeout to stop the clock, and Gentges grabbed a steal coming out of the timeout and was fouled on the fast break. He drained the first shot, tying the game, but missed the second. Eureka rebounded and came out of the play with a three-pointer.
Gentges headed back to the line with 26 seconds of play left. He missed the first, but hit the second to bring it to a one shot game. The Blue Jays fouled Eureka, sending them to the line where they went 1-2. The Blue Jays had two three-point attempts in the final 15 seconds, but could not find the net to tie the game, falling 68-65 to Eureka.
Lee Jr. finished with six rebounds, 10 points, four assists, three blocks and two steals. Murphy led the Blue Jays with 15 points, and Gentges went 4-5 from the field to total 12 points.
The Blue Jays travel to Mount Pleasant, Iowa on Wednesday to face Iowa Wesleyan at 8:00 p.m.