Memphis, TN, 11/28/21 – The Westminster College Blue Jays men's basketball team was in action on Sunday afternoon against the 16th ranked team in the nation, the University of Dubuque Spartans. The game was a part of the Rhodes College Thanksgiving Tournament. The Blue Jays came into the game massively outsized by the Spartans but eager to prove that they belong after a lackluster performance on Saturday. The Blue Jays would fight and scrap against the Spartans giving them everything they wanted but in the end the Spartans length allowed them to prevail 70-65.
The game was a slug it out affair early on with many ties and lead changes. A Makygh Galbreath (Fulton, MO / Fulton) three pointer off of a Tre Kempker (Eugene, MO / Eugene) assist knotted the game at 17 with 6:12 to play in the first half. Over those last 6:12 the Spartans would go on a 16-7 run to take a 33-24 lead at halftime.
The second half saw the Blue Jays chip away at the Spartan lead closing the game to three points on two separate occasions. A Landon Harrison (Jefferson City, MO / Helias) three pointer off of a Kempker assist with 12:43 to play cut the Spartan lead down to 44-41. Two Kempker free throws would again draw the Spartan lead down to three with 10:51 to play. A couple minutes later Emil Spriggs (Kansas City, MO / Lee's Summit North) would hit a three off of a Ben Eberlin (Hardin, IL / Calhoun) kick out and the Spartans lead was down to two with 9:18 to play 48-46. This was the closest the Blue Jays would get the rest of the way. The Spartans held a lead of 5-7 points the rest of the way. The sixteenth ranked Spartans would escape with a hard fought 70-65 game.
Jaxon Althaus led the way for the Blue Jays with 14 points on the day leading three other players in double figures. Those players were Harrison with 13 points, Eberlin 10 points and Spriggs with 10 points. Harrison also lead the team in rebounds with seven total rebounds. The Spartans outrebounded the Blue Jays 30-19 on the day. Spriggs and Kempker each had two steals to lead the team.
The Blue Jays will be back on the road next Friday December 4th when they will travel to Moberly, MO to take on the Central Christian College of the Bible Saints. The game is scheduled for a 3:00 p.m. tip-off.