GREENVILLE, Ill. – Despite a late second-half comeback, the Westminster men's basketball team lost to Greenville 132-131 on Wednesday night in their St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference opener. The Blue Jays fall to 1-6 on the season and 0-1 in conference play.
The teams traded layups to open the game before Greenville took a 5-2 lead on a layup and a free throw. The Blue Jays tied the game at 5-5 with a three-pointer by Ethan Thompson. The Panthers took the lead on a dunk before Jaxon Althaus sparked a 10-2 run with a three-pointer. The Panthers made a pair of three-pointers to cut the lead to 17-15 with 15:04 left in the half. After the threes, the Blue Jays went on a 10-0 run capped by five points from Makygh Galbreath to make the score 27-15.
The Blue Jays held on to the lead until the Panthers tied the game at 32-32 with 9:10 to go in the half. The Blue Jays went back on top when Althaus drained a three-pointer. Althaus extended the lead to 37-32 with a layup after a steal. Greenville tied the game with two free throws with 7:45 to go. The final 7:45 saw four lead changes, but the Panthers went into halftime holding a 61-54 lead.
The Panthers held on to the lead for the majority of the second half. However, the Blue Jays rallied back and tied the game at 127-127 on a three-pointer by Landon Harrison with 2:10 left in the game. 18 seconds later a layup by Althaus gave Westminster a 129-127 lead. After a Blue Jays turnover, Greenville tied the score with 1:12 remaining. A layup then put the Panthers up 131-129 with 42 seconds on the clock. The Panthers extended the lead to four points with a free throw before Harrison made a layup to put Westminster within one point 132-131 with 14 seconds remaining. After Greenville missed two free throws, Althaus grabbed the rebound and drove down the court before passing to Thompson who fired a three-pointer that missed the mark. Omar Wright was able to secure the rebound and put up a shot just before the buzzer but his shot could not find the basket and Greenville held on for a one-point victory.
Althaus led all players with 36 points followed by Harrison with 31 and Thompson with 30. In addition to his 30 points, Harrison led all players with eight assists. Wright tied Harrison for the team lead in rebounds with nine and had a solid all-around game recording 15 points and seven assists.
Steven Brandt came off the bench to grab seven rebounds and dish out four assists for the Blue Jays.
Next up the Blue Jays will return home to play Iowa Wesleyan on Saturday afternoon.