Monmouth, IL-12/18/2022- The Westminster College men's basketball team took on the Monmouth College Scots in a late Saturday afternoon matinee. The two teams were evenly matched the entire game, with neither team taking a lead bigger than nine points. There were 18 ties and 16 lead changes total in the game. The Scots led by two with five minutes left to play in the game. They would extend the lead in the last minutes and win the game 80-74.
The Blue Jays started the game hot, scoring on their first three possessions and taking a 7-2 lead in the opening moments. The Scots answered with a three-pointer and layup to tie things up at seven a piece. Throughout the first half, the game was close. Westminster would go up 25-20 and Monmouth would once again answer and take the lead back at 26-25 with 7:25 left in the half. Every time it looked like one team would start the pull away, the other team struck back. The Jays would end the half on a 7 to 2 run to take the lead into the half with a score of 39-32.
Westminster made a layup to start the second half and get their largest lead of the game, going up 41-32. The Blue Jays would hold the lead until the Scots tied it 49-49 with 10:24 left in the game. They would tie and trade the lead for a couple of minutes of the game. The Scots looked like they were pulling away, taking a 62-56 lead with 5:32 left. Westminster went on a 6-2 run to cut it back to a two-point game. The Scots hit a three to get some distance and make it a five-point lead. They would trade baskets again, then the Scots would score four unanswered points to go up 77-69 with 20 seconds left in the game. The Blue Jays would foul to extend the game. Monmouth would make their free throws and win the game 80-74 in a hard-fought game.
Jaxon Althaus (Oak Grove, Mo. / Oak Grove) led the way with 26 points and 10 rebounds, his third double-double of the year. Tre Kempker (Eugene, Mo. / Eugene) had 16 points in the game and grabbed 6 rebounds. Ben Eberlin (Hardin, IL / Calhoun) chipped in 10 points in 18 minutes off the bench.
The Blue Jays will be back in action on Tuesday, December 20th when they welcome Nebraska Wesleyan to the Historic Gym. That game will tip off at 6:00 PM.