St. Louis, Mo. - After holding a 29-22 halftime advantage and leading Westminster College for 23:04, the Griffins succumbed to the Blue Jays 60-52. The game was head coach Matt Mitchell's 250th career win.
After trailing 10-4, the Griffins posted seven straight points thanks to two layups from Kris McCann followed by a trey from freshman Tyler Schwartz. Schwartz's three-pointer was way past the arc, as he was standing on the Lee McKinney Court graphic when he gave Fontbonne an 11-10 lead. Westminster regained control but after Fontbonne took an 18-16 lead the Blue Jays called a timeout. Fontbonne would then lead by as many as nine points before the half.
Westminster kept knocking at Fontbonne's doorstep for the first 14 minutes. Fontbonne took a 45-40 lead on a Rio Justice Chandler layup but Chandler's post-bucket hype was costly for the Griffins. The senior from Nevada was accessed a technical and even though the Blue Jays missed both free throw attempts, momentum shifted their way. Westminster scored 13 consecutive points to lead 53-45 with only 2:31 left in the game. The Griffins were able to come within seven points of the visiting squad with 39 seconds left after Jeff Smith tipped in McCann's missed three-pointer but the deficit was too much to overcome.
McCann led Fontbonne with 16 points while Smith, Jack Lake and Orkan Bakis all roped in 10 rebounds. Westminster's Sean O'Brien scored 19 points and grabbed six rebounds while Carter Wands recorded four steals for the Blue Jays.
Westminster secured 17 points off Fontbonne's 16 turnovers while the Blue Jays committed just five turnovers. Fontbonne out-rebounded their opponents 48-39 and shot 3% better from the field overall. The Griffins not only hurt from the arc in the second half, but also at the free throw line where they sank five of 12 attempts.
Fontbonne is at MacMurray Wednesday for an 8 p.m. tipoff followed by a trip to Blackburn next Saturday at 1 p.m.