Blue Jays Stifling Defensive Effort Leads To Victory

Photo by Tyler Oberlag.
Photo by Tyler Oberlag.

Fulton, MO, 2/5/2022 – The Westminster College men's basketball team came into Saturday afternoons matchup with the Webster University Gorloks on the heels of a four-game losing streak. The presence of dozens of former Blue Jay players in attendance to honor the career of head coach Matt Mitchell led to a full house in Historic Gym and saw their beloved coach's Blue Jays turn in a stellar defensive effort in a 75-55 win over the Gorloks.   The win was the 298th career victory for Coach Mitchell.   The Blue Jays improved to 7-14 on the season and 3-7 in SLIAC play.

The Blue Jays roared out of the tip taking a 6-0 lead on two jump shots by Jaxon Althaus (Oak Grove, MO / Oak Grove) and one by Landon Harrison (Jefferson City, MO / Helias). The Gorloks would respond with a 5-0 run of their own to close the gap to 6-5 with 15:00 to go in the first half. 

A little over halfway through the first half the Blue Jays still led 19-15.  Emil Spriggs (Kansas City, MO / Lees Summit North) and Althaus would make back-to-back three pointers to give the Blue Jays their first double digit lead with 7:58 left to play in the half.  Later, in the span of just 30 seconds Ethan Thompson (Columbia, MO / Hallsville) would splash back-to-back three pointers of his own to widen the Jays lead to 17 points at 35-18 with 4:51 to go before halftime.  Another Althaus three would set the score at 41-25 at the half in favor of the Blue Jays.

The Blue Jays started the second half getting a stop on defense, something that was a common occurrence on Saturday. Spriggs would bury a three pointer off a nice Harrison assist to push the lead to 44-25 and the rout was on.  The Blue Jays defense would hold the Gorloks scoreless for the first six and a half minutes of the second half while building a dominant 30-point lead 55-25.  As the game wore on and the outcome all but decided it was time for fan favorite and Senior leader Adrian Webb (Poplar Bluff, MO / Poplar Bluff) to get in on the action scoring on a drive through traffic for his first varsity points as a Blue Jay.  The perfect capper for a 75-55 victory.

Althaus led the Blue Jays with 17 points thanks to a 3-6 performance from the three-point line.  Harrison joined him as the only other Jay in double figures with 14. Sophomore Coby Williams had a strong game off of the bench going 3-3 from the field and 2-2 from the free throw line for eight points to lead the Blue Jays bench.  Althaus was also the top rebounder with seven rebounds.  Harrison and Spriggs led the Blue Jays with three assists each.  Althaus also picked up a team high three steals as the Blue Jays had a season high 13 steals for the game. 

The Blue Jays will be back in action against high flying run and gun Greenville University on Wednesday in Historic Gym.  The game is set for 7:30 p.m. tip off. 

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