Westminster Men's Basketball Falls in SLIAC Tournament Semifinals

Westminster Men's Basketball Falls in SLIAC Tournament Semifinals

GREENVILLE, Ill. - Westminster men's basketball ended its 2017-18 season with a 125-112 loss to Greenville in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Tournament semifinals.

The Blue Jays end their 2017-18 campaign with a record of 14-12. 

"We are very proud of our guys' effort tonight," said Westminster Head Coach Matt Mitchell. "We battled to the end. Unfortunately, we just couldn't get enough shots to fall and had too many turnovers."

Westminster opened the game on a slow start, unable to score for the first two minutes of the game. In that time, the Panthers got out to an 8-0 lead. Stu Hollandsworth broke the scoring drought for the Blue Jays at the 18:04 mark, hitting back-to-back layups. 

A layup from Casey McCollum at 14:04 tied the score at 10 apiece to make up for Westminster's slow start. The Panthers went on a short 5-0 run, back Carter Wands and Tanner Cochran hit shots in back-to-back to again tie the game at 17. 

After the under 12 media timeout, the Panthers went on a 7-0 run to take back their lead, but layups from Hollandsworth and Cody Shaw tied the game yet again at 26 each with 9:25 to play in the half. 

Greenville took their first double-digit lead of the game at 39-29 with just above seven minutes to play in the half. Westminster pulled back within as many as five, but the Panthers' fast-paced play allowed them to steadily hold the double-digit lead in the first half. Steven Brandt hit two freethrows and a dunk to end the half 61-50 in favor of Greenville. 

Another scoring drought was the story for the Blue Jays to open the second half, which was again broken by a layup from Hollandsworth. 

The Panthers went ahead by as many as 16 in the opening minutes of the half, but layups from K. Wands and Hollandsworth put Westminster back within 10 points with 15 minutes to play. 

In the next five minutes of the game, the Blue Jays fought to get back into within single digits of the Panthers, but Greenville took a 20 point lead, their largest of the game, at the 9:37 mark. Westminster continued to fight and add buckets, going on short runs, including back-to-back layups from K. Wands to shrink the deficit to under 20 points. 

The Blue Jays went on a 9-0 to give themselves new life on baskets from four different players including Hollandsworth, Shaw, Brandt, and Collin Caywood, to make the score 105-94 at the 4:31 mark. 

Despite the Bue Jays heating up from behind the arc with back-to-back three-pointers from K. Wands and Brandt, the Panthers continued to score to hold on to their lead. 

A three-pointer from Hayden Drace and a layup from K. Wands ended the game at 125-112 in favor the Panthers. 

K. Wands led all scorers with 33 points, who went 13-18 from the field and 4-6 from behind the arc. He also added six assists and four rebounds. 

Five other Blue Jays scored in double figures including Hollandsworth (15), C. Wands (14), Steven Brandt (13), Collin Caywood (13), and Cody Shaw (10). C. Wands recorded a double-double by adding 11 rebounds. 

"Our hats go off to Greenville," said Mitchell. "They have a ton of speed and put a ton of pressure on everyone on the floor."