Fulton, MO, 11/18/22 – The Westminster College men's basketball team came into their Tuesday night home game against the Principia College Panthers in need of a win to stop a four-game losing streak. The Blue Jays would lead for much of the contest but could not put the Panthers away in the closely contested game. With the game tied 57-57 and time winding down, a missed three pointer by Jaxon Althaus (Oak Grove, MO / Oak Grove) was rebounded by Pricipia's Jake Kampf who weaved around a couple Blue Jay defenders before he heaved a 50-foot prayer at the basket. His prayer was answered, and the Panthers walked it off with a stunning 60-57 victory. The loss saw the Blue Jays drop to 4-10 overall and 0-3 in SLIAC play.
The Blue Jays got off to a good start as they would jump out to a 15-7 lead. A pair of Ben Eberlin (Hardin, IL / Calhoun) free throws followed by a Coby Williams (Versailles, Mo. / Morgan County R-2) three pointer on an inside outside kick out by Eberlin led to what would be the biggest lead either side would enjoy the rest of the night. The Blue Jays would take a two-point lead into halftime thanks to a Tre Kempker (Eugene, MO / Eugene) transition dunk and an Eberlin offensive rebound put back to take the lead 25-23 going into the break.
The second half saw the two teams battle back and forth through 8 ties and 12 lead changes throughout the second half. The Blue Jays took their last lead of the game when Ethan Thompson (Columbia, MO / Harrisburg) cashed in a three pointer with 1:27 left to go in the game to give the Blue Jays a 57-56 lead. The Jays defense was stout the next possession as they forced a shot and got the rebound. A Landon Harrison (Jefferson City, MO / Helias) missed jumper in the half court on the next possession led to a Principia drive and foul as Principia's AJ Byrd would split a pair of free throws to tie the score with just over 23 seconds remaining. The Blue Jays shot the ball before the final horn as the shot was missed and Kampf would snare the rebound drive up the court and strike the final blow to the Blue Jays with his 50-foot heave to win the game at the buzzer for the Panthers.
Althaus led the Blue Jays with 16 points and was joined in double figures by Harrison who chipped in 14 points. Althaus led the Blue Jays in rebounding with nine rebounds and freshman forward Eberlin chipped in eight rebounds in fourteen minutes.
The Blue Jays will try to steady themselves and get back in the win column when they travel to Greenville University on Thursday January 20th for a 7:30 p.m. tip off.