Second Half Comeback Not Enough to Lift Blue Jays Over Spalding

Second Half Comeback Not Enough to Lift Blue Jays Over Spalding

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Westminster men's basketball fell behind early in the first half, coming back from a 20-point deficit in the second half, but their efforts fell just short of a win.

The Blue Jays fall to 10-11 overall and 9-5 in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. 

Westminster maintained a lead throughout the first 10 minutes of the game, going up by as many as six points. At the 8:16 mark of the half, the Golden Eagles took their first lead of the game at 19-18, but a Romo Tabb layup quickly recovered the lead. 

Spalding took a 22-20 lead in the next possession, which sparked a 15-2 run to give the Golden Eagles the first double-digit lead of the game at 34-22 and forcing Westminster Head Coach Matt Mitchell to call a timeout. 

"We had a very poor second 10 minutes of the first half," said Mitchell. "We couldn't hit any shots and Spalding hit several threes in that span."

Spalding added five more points after the timeout to complete a 20-2 run before Tabb hit a layup to break the Blue Jay scoring drought with 1:38 to play. With under one minute in the half, Spalding scored their final five point to take a 44-24 lead at the half, the biggest deficit of the game for Westminster. 

Westminster came out strong in the second half with a three-pointer from Collin Caywood and a layup fro Stu Hollandsworth in the next possession, cutting the Spalding lead to 15. Caywood remained hot, hitting another three-pointer at the 15:33 mark followed by a Tabb jumpshot to pull within 12 of the Golden Eagles. After Westminster fell back to a 17-point deficit, Caywood hit another three just under 10 minutes to again spark the Westminster offense. 

"We came out in the second half with some energy," said Mitchell. "We fought our way back and had a couple of chances to win the game down the stretch."

With five minutes to play in the game, the Blue Jays began to make a run to come back for the win which included back-to-back three-pointers from Tabb to pull back within single digits at the 4:12 mark, trailing 68-59. 

Kobe Wands and Jak Kitchens followed up Tabb with two scores of their own to pull within three points of the lead at just under two minutes. After Spalding knocked down two freethrows, Kitchens hit another layup to keep the Blue Jays within one possession. 

The Blue Jays had several possessions in the final one minute of the game with chances to tie the game, but were unable to capitalize on open looks while the Golden Eagles hit freethrows to win the game 74-67. With the loss, Westminster is pushed back to fourth place in the SLIAC. 

Westminster continues conference play at home Wednesday against the number one team in the SLIAC, Webster. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m.