Westminster Men's Basketball Ends Season with Loss to MacMurray

Westminster Men's Basketball Ends Season with Loss to MacMurray

FULTON, Mo. – The 2019-20 season came to an end for the Westminster men's basketball team on Saturday with a 98-90 loss to the MacMurray Highlanders in a game that featured 16 ties and 23 lead changes.

Landon Harrison made a jumper to kick off the scoring exchange followed by MacMurray matching with a jumper of their own. Shortly after Ethan Thompson connected on a three-pointer to put Westminster up 5-2 before the Highlanders tied the game at 5-5. After Emil Spriggs put the Blue Jays back on top 7-5 with a layup, the Highlanders made a three and a layup to take a three-point lead. A pair of free throws from Jaxon Althaus cut the lead to a point and another Thompson trey gave the Blue Jays the lead. A MacMurray layup tied the game but Trenton Barbour knocked down a three to reclaim the lead for Westminster. The teams traded layups before Harrison made a basket to give the hosts a 19-14 lead after five minutes of play. However, the Highlanders quickly tied the game and the lead continued to fluctuate as the teams consistently exchanged points.

The final two minutes of the half saw multiple lead changes and three ties. An Althaus layup gave Westminster a two-point lead with 12 seconds left but The Highlanders were able to draw a foul and convert a pair of free throws to tie the game 53-53 in closing seconds. Althaus and Harrison each tallied 13 points in the half for the Blue Jays.

Harrison opened the second half with four consecutive points to give the Blue Jays a narrow lead. The Highlanders responded with back-to-back layups to tie the game and start another series in which the lead teetered between the two teams. After MacMurray went ahead 60-59 on a three-pointer Althaus made a jumper to put the Blue Jays ahead. Westminster would hold lead for the next seven and a half minutes but never extended it beyond five points. The Highlanders eventually retook the lead with two free throws until a three-pointer and a layup from Harrison gave the Blue Jay another five-point lead with 3:12 left on the clock.

MacMurray cut the lead to two with a trey and with 1:43 remaining the Highlanders made a jump shot while being fouled to tie the game. They made the corresponding free throw to complete the three-point play and take an 89-88 lead. The Highlanders were then sent to the line again and extended the lead to two-point by making the first foul shot. The second free throw missed, however, the Highlanders were able to secure the rebound which forced the Blue Jays to commit another foul. The Highlanders made both shots and after a pair of missed three-pointers from Westminster drew another foul. They again made both free throws to take a 94-88 lead with 41 seconds left in the game. The Blue Jays attempted a pair of threes but could not connect and the Highlanders were able to squeak by with a 98-90 victory to end the season for both teams.

Harrison notched his sixth double-double of the season with 24 points and 10 rebounds. He also led Westminster with six assists. Althaus finished with 19 points and eight rebounds while Steph Campbell logged 10 points.

Westminster finishes the season 8-16 and 7-11 in the SLIAC.