St. Louis, MO, 1/16/22 – The Westminster College men's basketball team returned to the court for the first time in 11 days Sunday afternoon on the road taking on the Webster University Gorloks. The Blue Jays were coming off a pause due to Covid-19 health and safety protocols. The Blue Jays offense paid the price on Sunday. Showing significant rust from the lay off the Blue Jays Fell behind 27-7 with 5:16 to play in the first half. A second half comeback fueled by the Blue Jays defense ran out of gas and the Gorloks would pull away late for a 59-44 victory over the Jays. The loss drops the Blue Jays record to 4-9 overall and 0-2 in the SLIAC.
A first half that saw the Blue Jays shoot 22.2% from the field and 1-11 from three-point range saw the Gorloks take advantage on the way to a 33-15 half time lead. Eight offensive rebounds by the Gorloks also made things difficult for the Blue Jays as they kept possessions alive for the Gorloks and prevented the Blue Jays from getting out in transition, something they have been good at.
The second half saw the Blue Jays respond with some fire and their defense stiffened and fueled a 26-14 run to cut the Gorloks lead all the way down to six. A Landon Harrison (Jefferson City, MO / Helias)) pullup jump shot off a Jaxon Althaus (Oak Grove, MO / Oak Grove) assist made the score 47-41 with 4:00 to play. It prompted a Webster timeout as the Blue Jays seemed to have seized the momentum. The following defensive possession ended when Althaus would reach in and foul a Webster player who had broke free under the basket. The foul was determined by the officials to be a class one flagrant foul and after two made free throws the Gorloks would hit a three-point shot on the possession they were awarded for a 52-41 lead quieting the Blue Jay comeback and leading to the 59-44 final.
Althaus would lead the Blue Jays with 16 points. Devonte Hubbard (Lee's Summit, Mo. / Grandview Christian) led the team with eight rebounds. The Gorloks would hold a dominant edge outrebounding the Blue Jays 47-28 with 17 big offensive rebounds. Althaus would dish out four assists to pace the Jays. Senior Emil Spriggs (Kansas City, MO / Lee's Summitt North) recorded three steals to lead the team.
The Blue Jays will be back in action on Tuesday night when they will play at home in Historic Gym for the first time in two months and 11 days. The game against the Principia College Panthers is scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. tipoff in Historic Gym.