FULTON, Mo. - Westminster men's basketball fell to top-ranked conference opponent Eureka.
The Blue Jays fall to 9-5 overall and 5-2 in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
"Eureka has a very good team and we were emotionally and physically flat tonight," said Westminster Head Coach Matt Mitchell. "We made a run to end the first half that gave us some hope, but we didn't have much left in that tank."
The Red Devils immediately got out to a 6-0 start on Westminster. It wasn't until the 17:10 mark that Carter Wands hit two freethrows to put the Blue Jays on the board.
Four different players scored the opening 11 points for Westminster to tie the Red Devils with 12:52 remaining in the half, including a three-pointer from Steven Brandt, who would go on to be the team's leading scorer.
The Blue Jays were able to tie the game twice in the first half, but were never able to take a lead. It wasn't until the 5:10 mark when Eureka hit a three-pointer that the Red Devils took a double-digit lead. Stu Hollandsworth and Collin Caywood responded with back-to-back makes for Westminster to pull the Blue Jays back to a single-digit deficit. With two minutes to play, Brandt hit another three-pointer and made two freethrows to pull Westminster back within four. A steal from Brandt lead to a fast break dunk from Hollandsworth to make the score 40-38 with just over one minute to play in the half. Four straight points from Eureka made the score 44-38 going into the halftime break.
The offense in the second half slowed for Westminster, only scoring 21 points to Eureka's 51. After four minutes, the Blue Jays were still down only six points, but the Red Devils went on a 10-0 run over three minutes that started their scoring onslaught in the second half that resulted in the Westminster loss.
Leading the Blue Jays was Brandt with 16 points, a career-high for the freshman who went 4-7 from the three-point line. Hollandsworth and Tanner Cochran each added 10.
"Tonight is an example of the ebb and flow of a long season," said Mitchell. "Eureka was really good and they have some dynamic players. We will regroup and get ready for Saturday."
Westminster remains home for a battle against MacMurray Saturday at 3 p.m.