ST. LOUIS - Four players for Westminster men's basketball scored in double figures, leading to a close battle between the Blue Jays and No. 10 Washington University in St. Louis.
The Blue Jays fall to 7-4 on the year with the loss, completing the 2017 portion of the schedule.
"It was a highly competitive game and it came down to a few critical possessions," said Westminster Head Coach Matt Mitchell. "This was very typical of a (NCAA) tournament type of game. Their size was difficult to deal with but our quickness caused them a lot of problems."
Collin Caywood started the game on hot shooting from behind the arc, hitting back-to-back three-pointers to go up 8-4 at the 15:43 mark. Westminster kept the three-point barrage going with another from Casey McCollum to hold the Blue Jay lead. A Kobe Wands three doubled the Westminster lead 16-8 with under 13 minutes to play in the first half.
"Casey and Nolan Huot gave us quality minutes tonight, especially in the first half when Stu was in foul trouble," said Mitchell.
A layup and freethrow from K. Wands led to the first double-digit lead for Westminster, 23-13, at the 7:28 mark of the half. The Bears quickly followed up with an 11-0 run to take back the lead, but five points from K. Wands and another three-pointer from McCollum gave Westminster the advantage late in the first half.
Three-pointers from the Bears ended the half with Westminster down just three points, 38-35.
Stu Hollandsworth opened the second half with two straight buckets, followed by a jumper from K. Wands to complete a 6-0 to take back the lead.
The squads continued to trade baskets in an opening 10 minutes that featured two ties and three lead changes. After a Tanner Cochran layup at the 7:15 mark, the teams remained tied at 61 points for almost two minutes before Cody Shaw hit a three-pointer to put Westminster back on top by three points.
With just under five minutes to play, the Bears tied the game back up at 66, which sparked a 12-0 run from Wash U to put the Bears up 75-66 with under a minute to play.
Despite buckets from Shaw and Cochran to end the game, it wasn't enough to catch up to the closing run from the Bears.
K. Wands led Westminster with 13 points while Hollandsworth added 12. Both Shaw and Caywood recorded 10 apiece.
Westminster returns home and starts conference play again on Jan. 3 against Fontbonne. Tip off is set for 8 p.m.