FULTON, Mo. - Westminster men's basketball tallied a nonconference win over Millikin as four players scored in double figures.
The Blue Jays improve to 6-3 overall with the win, including remaining a perfect 4-0 at home.
"We had great defensive intensity tonight," said Head Coach Matt Mitchell. "This was a great way to send our team into a holiday break. It's always nice to get a nonconference win against a quality team like Millikin."
The opening three minutes resulted in each team trading buckets and starting the game off with a quick pace, including four ties. With 16 minutes to play, the Big Blue pulled ahead 11-7 and started a two-minute scoring drought for either team. Steven Brandt started Westminster again offensively, hitting a three-pointer at the shot clock buzzer to put the Blue Jays back on pace. Cody Shaw followed that with a three-point play to create a 6-0 run for Westminster.
Millikin continued to hold a one-basket lead under the 10 minute mark, with Westminster tying the game three times but not able to get the defensive stop to pull ahead. A layup from Stu Hollandsworth at the 8:35 mark gave the Blue Jays the 22-20 lead and forced a timeout from Millikin.
Westminster held the lead for the remainder of the of the first half, pulling ahead by as many as seven with just over a minute to play. The Big Blue put together a 7-0 to end the first half with Westminster on top 41-40.
Shaw started to heat up, hitting two three-pointers as part of an 8-2 run for Westminster.
The Blue Jays began to pour on the pressure with a full-court trapping press which contributed to the 25 Big Blue turnovers, including 14 Blue Jay steals.
"Our press was really good tonight and we played it with great defensive intensity," said Head Coach Matt Mitchell. "We forced a lot of turnovers out of it because we worked hard and communicated."
A 9-0 run that lasted one minute gave Westminster a strong edge for the remaining 10 minutes of the game, shifting the momentum in their favor. A Kobe Wands jump shot at 10:42 gave Westminster its first double-digit lead of the game.
A 10-2 run which featured three-pointers from Collin Caywood gave Westminster the 76-60 lead with just under six minutes to play in the game.
Millikin was never able to pull back within single digits as Westminste kept shooting the ball well, ending the game shooting 40% (9-22) from behind the arc.
Kobe Wands led all scorers with 25 points, going 9-13 from the field and adding three steals. Caywood added 16 points, including three three-pointers. Shaw and Brandt each added 13, while Shaw made three steals.
Westminster takes the week off for the holidays, returning to Historic Gym on Dec. 29 to face Sewanee at 5 p.m.