Westminster Men's Basketball Posts Double-Digit Win Over Spalding

Westminster Men's Basketball Posts Double-Digit Win Over Spalding

FULTON, Mo. - Westminster men's basketball earned a dominant 74-61 over Spalding, with four scoring in double figures.

The Blue Jays improve to 12-7 overall and 8-4 in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, tied for second place with Eureka. 

"Tonight win was critical as we enter the back half of the conference season," said Westminster Head Coach Matt Mitchell. "I was worried coming into the game that we would be hung up on Wednesday's win over Greenville, but the guys did a fantastic job rebooting to play a traditional game."

Both teams got out to a fast start offensively, including five of the opening seven Westminster points coming from Collin Caywood

"Collin Caywood continues to become a very dynamic player," said Mitchell. "He's not only shooting well, but he's defending at a high level."

After trading baskets for the first five minutes, Kobe Wands hit a three-pointer to put the Blue Jays up by two posessions at the 14:09 mark. Caywood and Cody Shaw followed that with back-to-back three-pointers to force a Spalding timeout, marking their biggest lead of the game at 18-10. With just under 10 minutes to play in the first half, K. Wands hit another three-pointer to increase the Westminster lead to nine. 

A Caywood three-pointer at the 7:27 mark gave the Blue Jays their first double-digit lead of the gameat 29-19. Hayden Drace hit two freethrows and Shaw knocked down another shot from behind the arc to continue the Blue Jay offensive push. 

The Blue Jays went the rest of the half with the double-digit lead, eventually finishing the first 20 minutes ahead 43-31, with 24 of their points coming from three-pointers. In the first half, the team shot better than 57% from behind the arc at 8-14. 

Spalding opened the second half with a three-pointer of their own, but Caywood and Stu Hollandsworth teamed up for five points to increase the Blue Jay lead to 14. A Spalding three-pointer put them back within single digits, but a layup from Casey McCollum quickly put Westminster back on top by 11. 

The next nine Blue Jay buckets came from K. Wands, followed by back-to-back three-pointers from Caywood and Tanner Cochran to give Westminster its biggest lead of the game at 67-48. 

"We are continuing to share the ball well and get good shots almost every trip down the floor," said Mitchell. "It's also great to have Kobe getting closer to 100%."

Spalding went on a 9-2 run to pull back within 12 points with under five minutes remaining, but a combination of strong Blue Jay defense and big shots from Drace and Caywood down the stretch led to a 73-61 victory for Westminster. 

Caywood led the Westminster offense with 19 points, including 5-10 from behind the arc. K. Wands added 15 points and seven rebounds. Hollandsworth recorded 11 points, and Drace contributed 10 from the bench. 

The Blue Jays travel to Fontbonne Saturday for a 3 p.m. matchup.