EUREKA, Ill. – Sophomore guard Ethan Thompson tied a school record with 10 three-pointers to lead the Westminster men's basketball team to a 96-84 win over Eureka. The win snaps Eureka's five-game winning streak. With the win, the Blue Jays are now 2-1 in SLIAC play and 3-6 overall.
"Ethan is a volume shooter that can really get hot and it was a great effort by our guys today," said Westminster Head Coach Matt Mitchell. "We got off to a quick start and kept the foot on the pedal."
Eureka scored the first points of the game with a layup in the first minute before Jaxon Althaus tied the game with a layup. After the Red Devils scored to go up 4-3 Emil Spriggs drained a three-pointer to put the Blue Jays up 5-4. Thompson then extended the lead to 8-5 with the first of his 10 threes on the day. The Red Devils cut the lead to 10-9 with 15 minutes to go in the half. After that Thompson made a pair of jumpers and another three to spark a 10-2 Westminster run to increase the lead to 20-11.
The Blue Jays maintained a single-digit lead until Landon Harrison scored five straight points off a layup and a three to put Westminster up 31-20 with 7:52 remaining. The Red Devils scored the next five points to close the gap to 31-25. Over the next two minutes, Westminster held Eureka to just two points, both of which came from free throws while scoring 10 points off a Steph Campbell jump shot, two free throws from Althaus and three-pointers from Spriggs and Harrison. Thompson made two more three-pointers in the final minutes of the half and the Blue Jays took a 47-34 lead into halftime.
The Blue Jays continued to shoot the long ball in the second half and extended their lead to 20 points with threes from Trenton Barbour, Althaus and Harrison. The Red Devils cut the lead back to down 10 with a layup to make the score 67-567 with 9:42 to play. Thompson made another three to make the score 70-57 and the Blue Jays held onto 10 plus point lead for the rest of the game to win the game 96-84 and hand the Red Devils their first SLIAC loss.
Thompson finished with 35 points going 10-14 from three-point range. Althaus and Harrison tied for the team lead with five assists and scored 16 and 15 points, respectively. Five of Harrison's points came in the final 1:34 when he made a layup and went 3-3 from the free-throw line.
"Our guys know that when Ethan gets hot like he did today they need to be patient and look for him. They did a great job at that, and obviously, Ethan finished off some key possessions." said Mitchell
Harrison and Barbour each grabbed six rebounds to tie for the team lead. Makygh Galbreath added four rebounds, four assists and 10 points off the bench. As a team, the Blue Jays shot 16-30 from three-point range.
The Blue Jays are off until January 4th when they will face Principia at home.