FULTON, Mo. - Westminster men's basketball defeated Greenville 136-125 to unseat the top seed in the conference and set a new team scoring record, breaking a record that dates back to the 1919-20 season.
The last Westminster team to score more than 120 points in a game was the 1919-20 squad, putting up 128 against Missouri Wesleyan.
With the win, Westminster improves to 8-9 overall and 7-3 in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, tied with Spalding for third place. Webster now sits stop the league at 8-1 after Westminster handed the Panthers their second loss of the season.
"You always know you have the chance to put up big numbers against this Greenville team," said Westminster Head Coach Matt Mitchell. "A lot of guys came together for us and played well offensively to make it happen, including a strong showing from our bench, especially Makygh Galbreath."
The Panthers opned the game with three three-pointers in their opening possessions to take the lead 9-8 after two minutes. Two ties, four lead changes, and four minutes later, the Blue Jays were keeping pace with the quick Greenville pace, down just 21-20. A 7-0 Panther run, the biggest run of the game this far, was the largest lead of the game by either team at 31-24. An emphatic Hollandsworth dunk, just one of many in the game, ended the Panther run with 11:52 in the half.
At the 9:47 mark, a Panther three-pointer put Greenville 40-30 with the first double-digit lead of the game, but Steven Brandt answered with a three-pointer to put Westminster back within seven. The Panthers were maintaining a strong nine-point lead when a technical foul on Greenville was called, giving Westminster a chance to get back in the game on freethrows. Collin Caywood hit all four freethrows followed by a layup from Tabb. Kobe Wands hit two freethrows in the next possession with another Hollandsworth dunk to follow to complete the 12-0 Blue Jay run to give Westminster the lead at 52-49 with six minutes left in the half.
The Panthers answered with a 17-1 run to quickly take back the lead over the next three minutes, giving the Panthers their largest lead of the game at 66-53. Another run by Westminster, 11-3, led by five points from freshman Makygh Galbreath put Westminster back within five as the half winded to a close. Five points from the Panthers to end the half made the score 76-70 in favor of Greenville after the first 20 minutes of play.
Carter Wands opened the half with six points while Tabb added four to pull back within two points of the lead in the opening three minutes, but Greenville's hot shooting carried over to the second half as they held a small lead throughout the opening 10 minutes.
A three-pointer from Kobe Wands followed by a layup from Galbreath marked the first tie of the half at 97 points each with 11:32 to play. Hollandsworth and Tabb hit two back-to-back layups to give Westminster the 101-99 advantage, their first lead since the 5:42 mark of the first half. Westminster pulled ahead by as many as six in the following minutes, but the Panther remainined with three possessions of the Blue Jays until two Hollandsworth layups put Westminster up 121-111, the first double-digit Blue Jay lead of the game with 5:42 to play.
"The guys believed the entire game that they could pull out a win," said Mitchell. "They didn't show any quit and I'm proud of their effort and resilience."
Two more layups from Tabb and Hollandsworth stretched the Blue Jay lead to 125-112, but with the fast pace of play of Greenville, Mitchell knew the team hadn't secured a win just yet.
"Ten points in this game can happen so quickly, so we needed to leep playing our game up until that final buzzer," said Mitchell.
Greenville was able to pull within seven points with 1:15 to play, but missed four three-pointers down to stretch while Tabb and Kobe Wands hit key freethrows to secure the win.
Tabb led all scorers with 36 points and 14 rebounds while Hollandsworth scored 34, adding 13 rebounds. Carter Wands was one assist away from his own double-double, scoring 16, while Kobe Wands scored 14 and added six assists. Galbreath led the bench in points with 17, including five rebounds, four assists, and two steals. Brandt added 10 points off the bench.
Westminster remains home Wednesday for a 7:30 matchup against Blackburn in Historic Gym.