Greenville, Ill. – The Westminster College Blue Jays were on the road at Greenville University to take on the Panthers and their "system". The Jays fell behind by 24 points in the first half as the Greenville Press took it's toll early on. The Blue Jays would regroup and stage a furious comeback taking the lead with seconds left in the game. Unfortunately for the Blue Jays the Panthers had one more answer than the Jays as Romello Ball hit a pull up three pointer with 7.1 seconds left to give the Panthers a 138-137 lead and after a missed shot by the Jays the Panthers would make two free throws to win the game 140-137.
The Blue Jays were able to cut a 24-point first half deficit down to just nine points at halftime 67-58. Strong play from Landon Harrison, Jaxon Althaus and Ian Smith led the comeback at the end of the half.
The Blue Jays and Panthers traded punches the entire second half with Greenville. The Panthers managed to stay just ahead of the Blue Jays until late in the game. With 2:12 remaining in the game a steal and lay-up by Harrison would tie the game at 130-130. A defensive stop keyed by a Makygh Galbreath blocked shot and Harrison rebound led to a Galbreath lay in to give Westminster it's first lead of the night. The next possession ended with a stop and a rebound by Harrison and he found Camron Jamison down the floor for a lay up to extend the Blue Jay lead to 134-130 with 1:28 to play. Greenville would answer with a three pointer to cut the lead to 134-133 with 1:19 to play. The Blue Jays would come up empty on their next possession and Greenville would retake the lead on a driving lay-up by Romello Ball with :32 remaining in the game. The Blue Jays would not go quietly as on the next possession Harrison would drive to the basket and find senior Emil Spriggs in the corner for the three pointer and the lead at 137-135 with :19 left to play. Heartbreak would follow for the Blue Jays as Romello Ball hit a pull up deep three pointer with :07.1 to play for a 138-137 lead. A jumper by the Blue Jays was off the mark and the Panthers would hit two free throws and win 140-137.
The game saw Landon Harrison score a career best 36 on 16-18 shooting. Ian Smith followed with a career high 24 on 12-13 shooting while also getting six rebounds and dishing out four assists. Jaxon Althaus had 20 points for the Jays followed by Braeden Wetrich with 18, Camron Jamison with 17 and Makygh Galbreath chipped in ten to round out the six Blue Jays in double figures.
Harrison led the Blue Jays in rebounding with ten rebounds followed by Althaus with nine. Wetrich had eight rebounds followed by Galbreath with seven. Smith and Althaus would snag six rebounds each.
The Blue Jays would make history in the loss. The Blue Jays assisted on 51 of their 59 baskets smashing the old mark of 34 set in a game at St. Louis Christian on Nov. 24, 1989. The Blue Jays were led in assists by Althaus with nine. Harrison had eight assists falling just two assists shy of a triple double. Spriggs and freshman Brennan Jeffries, playing in his first varsity action, would each have six assists and no turnovers. Jamison would also contribute six assists while Wetrich, Smith and Galbreath would each have four assists.
Westminster would shoot 63.4% from the field and just 23.1 % from the three point range and a disappointing 60% from the foul line.
The Blue Jays will be back at home in Historic Gym on Friday against the Blackburn College Beavers. The game time is set for a 7:30 p.m. tip off.