The Westminster men's basketball team attempted to come back from their first half deficit with the Spalding University Golden Eagles on Saturday, but it was not enough to overcome the number one team in the SLIAC. The Westminster Blue Jays fell 58-48, bringing them to 2-13 on the season.
Spalding took a 10-3 lead over the Blue Jays 13 minutes into the game, but within the following two minutes, the Blue Jays were able to knot up the game at 10-10.
Two free throws by junior Matt Murphy brought the Blue Jays back within three with 8:09 remaining in the half, but in the final seven minutes of the game, Spalding hit a 10-0 run to head into halftime with the score 25-12, Spalding.
Spalding increased their lead to 17 points with a fast break layup five minutes into the second half, but a steal by freshman Jimmy Villalobos was followed by a three-pointer by senior Brandon Moore to put the Blue Jays within 10 with 10:51 left on the clock. Murphy hit a jumper to put the Blue Jays within nine points, but Spalding put themselves back up by 11 and maintained a 10+ point lead.
A shot from Murphy in the paint brought the Blue Jays back within nine points with 3:21 to go, and a short jump shot by Villalobos put the Blue Jays down by just seven, 51-44, with 2:45 on the clock.
The Blue Jays fouled to stop the clock, but Spalding went 4-4 from the line to take the 57-44 lead with 48 seconds remaining.
Junior Tanner Gentges put the final touch on the game with a layup with 21 seconds left. Spalding held the ball until the time ran out, ending the game with a 58-48 loss.
Murphy led the Blue Jays with 14 points. Moore put in 12, while Gentges added 10. Villalobos led the team in boards with seven, while Gentges and freshman Tanner Cochran each pulled down five.
The Blue Jays travel to St. Louis, Missouri on Wednesday, January 21, to continue SLIAC play against Fontbonne University.