Westminster men’s basketball falls to Spalding in Louisville, 79-54

On Saturday afternoon, the Westminster College men's basketball team faced off against the Spalding University Golden Eagles in Louisville, Kentucky. The Golden Eagles won 79-54 and improved to 2-4 in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. The loss is the Blue Jays' fifth in a row and drops to 1-5 in the conference and 2-15 on the season.

The Blue Jays had their only game lead at 6-to-5 with 15:00 left in the first half. The Golden Eagles scored nine straight points, took a 14-6 lead, and held the lead for the rest of the game. Spalding had a 33-17 lead with a minute to go until halftime. The Blue Jays ended the half by scoring a flurry of baskets in the final minute. They scored nine unanswered points to end the half trailing 33-26.

Westminster started the second half down just seven points after trailing by 16. Makygh Galbreath scored the first basket of the second half to get Westminster within five. Spalding scored on its first possession and got back to seven. The two teams traded baskets for the next five minutes of game time. The momentum seemed to swing Westminster's way; however, at the 15:33 mark, Ben Eberlin was fouled after running the floor on a fastbreak off a defensive rebound by the Blue Jays. After the foul, a technical foul was called on Spalding, resulting in four free throws for the Blue Jays. Jaxon Althaus made both technical free throws. Eberlin hit a 3 on the ensuing possession to go back up eight. Both teams traded turnovers that resulted in a layup from Spalding to go up 10 points at 45-35 with 14:32 left to play. Spalding continued to grow its lead and won the game 79-54.

It was a rough game for the Jays, shooting 34% from the field, 28% from 3, and committing 23 turnovers. That led to the Golden Eagles getting 27 points off turnovers and shooting 49% from the field. They were also red hot from behind the arc, going 8-14.

Althaus led the offense with 23 points and grabbed eight rebounds. He was the only Blue Jay to score in double figures, with Tre Kempker scoring nine points and going 5-6 from the line.

The Blue Jays will be back in action Wednesday when they take on Fontbonne University in St. Louis. That game will tip off at 7:30 p.m.