ST. LOUIS, Mo. – The Manchester University men's basketball team was unable to overcome the hot-shooting Westminster Blue Jays on Saturday afternoon, dropping a 98-94 decision in the second game of the Webster Classic.
Just over 12 hours removed from a thrilling victory over Webster, in which Manchester held the Gorloks scoreless for the final 5:34 and ended the game on a 13-0 run, the Spartans were unable to overcome a sluggish start against the hot-shooting Blue Jays.
Westminster knocked down four three-pointers to start the contest and jumped out to a 20-6 lead. Midway through the period, the Spartans battled to within three, 24-21, following a three-point jump shot by Nathan Carbaugh (Fort Wayne, Ind./North Side).
The Blue Jays responded with another offensive flurry over the next several minutes of play to extend their lead back into double digits.
At the half, Westminster led 52-44. The Blue Jays made 18 fields goals in the first 20 minutes, 11 of which were three-pointers.
Westminster maintained a comfortable lead for much of the second half, however, Manchester pushed the Blue Jays down the stretch. MU pieced together a 13-2 run over 4 minutes to tie the game at 77-77 with 5:48 left to play in the game.
With 17 seconds left in the game, junior Matthew Westman (Michigan City, Ind./Michigan City) drained a three after a Blue Jay turnover to pull MU within two, 96-94. Westminster hit their free throws to seal the game.
Manchester shot 50.7% (35-of-69) from the floor and converted 13-of-28 three-point attempts, good for a 46.4% clip. The Westminster Blue Jays were 35-of-70 from the floor and made 18-of-34 three-point field goal attempts.
MU was hampered by 19 turnovers.
Six different Spartans scored in double figures in Saturday's shootout. Matthew Westman led MU with 26 points on the strength of 7-of-10 shooting from three-point range. DeMoines Whitney (Detroit, Mich./Western International) scored 18 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Whitney was named to the Webster Classic All-Tournament Team.
Point guard Cortiz Buckner (Lafayette, Ind./Lafayette Jefferson) scored 14 points, grabbed seven boards, and dished out six assists. CJ Hampton (Hammond, Ind./Griffith) scored 11 points while Jalmen Sullivan (Hopkins Park, Ill./St. Anne) scored 12 points off the bench.
Nathan Carbaugh posted his first career double-double, scoring 10 points and grabbing 10 boards in 24 minutes off the bench.
For Westminster, Ethan Thompson scored 28 points. Jaxon Althaus added 26 points while Landon Harris finished with 21 points.
Manchester fell to 2-3 on the season. The Spartans will have some time off before the next contest. MU will face Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology on Wednesday December 4 at 7:30 p.m. in Stauffer-Wolfe Arena. The Spartans' game against RHIT will be the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference opener for both teams.