Galesburg, IL, 11/10/21 – The Westminster College Blue Jays traveled to Galesburg, Illinois on Wednesday night to take on the Knox College Prairie Fire. The game was a back and forth affair with neither team getting much separation. The game was tied 39-39 at the break and the game saw 14 ties and 22 lead changes. The Prairie Fire would make a few more plays down the stretch along with two free throws to record the victory by the score of 79-75.
Late in the game the Blue Jays trailed 77-72. The Blue Jays had the ball. Senior guard Ethan Thompson (Columbia, MO / Hallsville) maneuvered his way to the basket from the right wing with 2:02 to play. He would hit an off balanced jump shot while being fouled and then he would add the free throw to cut the Knox lead to 77-75. The Blue Jays would get a stop and a rebound from Jaxon Althaus (Oak Grove, MO / Oak Gove) and the Blue Jays were in business with a chance to tie the game. With 1:18 left in the game the Blue Jays would find themselves at the free throw line with a chance to tie but they would miss both free throws. Knox would miss the front end of a one and one to give the Blue Jays another chance to tie or take the lead. Landon Harrison (Jefferson City, MO / Helias) would just miss a jumper with :23 left in the game but he would get his own offensive rebound to keep the possession alive. Althaus would drive the paint and slip a pass to a cutting Harrison for a tying lay-up but Althause was controversially called for a player control foul negating the lay up and giving the ball back to Knox. The Blue Jays would have to foul and the Prairie Fire would escape with the 79-75 home win.
Thompson would lead the Blue Jays with 16 points on 5-7 shooting and 4-6 from the three-point line. Harrison would be next with 13 points. Harrison would also lead the Jays on the boards racking up seven rebounds followed by Emil Spriggs with six rebounds. Harrison also led the team with three assists.
The Blue Jays would shoot 49.2 % from the field as well as Knox at 49.2%. The Prairie Fire would go a sizzling 9-15 from the three-point line. The difference in the game might have come down to rebounding. The Prairie Fire would earn 13 offensive rebounds that created the extra opportunities the Prairie Fire needed. Knox outrebounded Westminster 36-30.
The Blue Jays will return to action when they travel to St. Louis, MO to take part in the SLIAC/ARC shootout on Friday evening at 6:00 p.m. on the campus of Fontbonne University vs. the Beuna Vista University Beavers.