The Westminster men's basketball team was unable to pull ahead of the Iowa Wesleyan Tigers on Wednesday evening, falling 63-55.
The Tigers started out with a 9-0 lead, and seven and a half minutes in, they jumped out to a 15 point lead. A three-pointer by senior Brandon Moore, followed by two good free throw shots by freshman Tanner Cochran brought the Blue Jays within 11, and a three by junior Tanner Gentges brought them within eight.
Iowa Wesleyan hung on to a 10 point lead and headed into halftime with a 35-25 advantage.
The Tigers came into the second half and took a 12 point lead, but the Blue Jays found their momentum and hit a 10-0 run to bring them within two with 13:54 on the clock.
The Tigers pulled ahead by eight, but the Blue Jays battled back within three. They brought the game within three points three more times, and with 5:04 left in the game, Moore was sent to the free throw line. He drained both, bringing the game within one, 52-51.
Junior Jay Zalis grabbed a steal and passed the ball up to senior Verdis Lee Jr. who was fouled on the way up. Lee Jr. went 1-2 from the line, tying the game at 52. The Blue Jays were unable to grasp the lead as the Tigers scored the next four points.
Moore hit one from the foul line to cut the game to 56-53, but the Tigers downed a shot to go up by five. With 1:13 left to play, the Tigers went up by seven, 61-54.
Gentges was sent to the line with 1:07 on the clock. He went 1-2, bringing them within six, but the Tigers closed out the game with a jumper to end the game 63-55.
Lee Jr. shot 50 percent from the field and led the Blue Jays with 13 points and five assists. Moore added 10 points to the loss. Junior Matt Murphy pulled down a game high six boards.
The Blue Jays host Spalding University on Wednesday, February 18, for their final home game of the season. They will celebrate their two seniors after the duration of the women's game.