FULTON, Mo. - Westminster men's basketball suffered a poor shooting night on their first day back from Christmas break, but strong defense led to a win over the Tigers of Sewanee.
The Blue Jays improve to 7-3 and remain undefeated on their home floor.
Despite shooting just 32% from the field, Westminster Head Coach Matt Mitchell was proud of his team's defensive effort and resolve.
"When we got down early and struggled offensively, we could have given up," said Mitchell. "Instead, we locked in on defense and created some offense."
Westminster forced 24 turnovers, which led to 18 points.
Both teams started the game cold, with no points put on the board in the first two minutes of the game. The Tigers scored the first 15 points of the game, with Westminster unable to score until the 12:49 mark. Westminster shot just 13.9% from the field in the first half. Despite the poor half offensively, Westminster was able to hold the Tigers to just 28 points.
After falling behind by as many as 14 in the second half, the Blue Jays began to chip away. A 13-2 run ending with 8:46 left in the game put Westminster back within single digits, trailing by just one point, 45-44.
The Tigers pulled back away by as many as eight, but Collin Caywood hit back-to-back three-pointers to keep Westminster in the game with five minutes to play. Steven Brandt hit a layup with 2:34 to play to give the Blue Jays their first lead of the game at 56-54.
Two freethrows from the Tigers with 1:08 left tied the game back up at 56. After trading fouls and freethrows, Westminster found themselves down by one point with 15 seconds to play.
Cody Shaw took the ball to the rim confidently, hitting a layup and drawing the foul. After hitting the freethrow to complete the three-point play, Westminster 61-59.
Carter Wands sealed the victory with a steal in the Tigers' final possession, hitting a freethrow to make the final score 62-59.
Shaw led with Blue Jays with 16 points in 28 minutes. Kobe Wands added 14, including seven rebounds.
Westminster travels to Washington University in St. Louis for a New Year's Eve matchup with the Bears.