Moberly, MO, 12/4/21 – The Westminster College men's basketball team came into Saturday's road matchup with the Central Christian College Saints having lost two straight and looking to get back in the win column. The Blue Jays would use balanced scoring and a physical brand of defense to roll to a 77-55 road victory over the Saints. The win improved the Blue Jays record to 4-5 overall. The Saints would fall to 5-3.
In the first half the Blue Jays would trail the Saints 9-8. Baskets by Jaxon Althaus (Oak Grove, MO / Oak Grove), Tre Kempker (Eugene, MO / Eugene) and two transition baskets by Devonte Hubbard (Lee's Summit, Mo. / Grandview Christian) keyed an 8-0 run to give the Blue Jays a 16-9 lead and prompt a Saints timeout with 15:01 to play in the first half. The lead was one the Blue Jays would not give back. They would stretch the lead to 37-24 on a Kempker tip-in before settling for a 37-27 halftime lead.
Midway through the second half the Blue Jays would go on a 10-4 run to extend their lead to 58-43. Four points each by Kempker and Makygh Galbreath (Fulton, MO / Fulton) and a basket by Landon Harrison (Jefferson City, MO / Helias) keyed the run. The Saints would then cut the lead back to 10 on two quick buckets. The key moment in the game came when Emil Spriggs (Kansas City, MO / Lee's Summitt North) was at the free throw line for the second shot of a one and one. He missed but freshman center Ben Eberlin (Hardin, IL / Calhoun) snared the offensive rebound and kicked it out to Althaus who buried a three to push the lead back to 15 at 66-51 with just over five minutes remaining in the game. The Blue Jays would then cruise to the 77-55 victory.
The Blue Jays defense was especially stingy as they would hold the Saints to 36.8% shooting from the field and 30% from the three-point line. The 55 points given up was also a season low for the Blue Jays defense.
Althaus would lead the way for the Blue Jays with 21 points followed by Kempker with 13 points and Galbreath with 11 points. Harrison and Hubbard were also in double figures as they each scored ten points. Kempker led the Blue Jays with eight rebounds followed closely by Harrison and Althaus with seven each. The Jays won the battle of the boards 45-33 over the Saints. Harrison would dish out five assists to lead the Jays, followed by Spriggs with four. Spriggs and Hubbard each were responsible for three steals to lead the team.
The Blue Jays will now take a break to focus on Final Exams this coming week. The Blue Jays will return to action on Saturday December 11th when they will travel to GLVC member and Division II opponent Missouri S & T. The game in Rolla, MO is set for a 3:00 p.m. tip-off. It will be the second GLVC Division II opponent of the season as the Blue Jays fell 89-79 to Lindenwood University in an exhibition game in late November.