The Westminster women's basketball team fell short to the Iowa Wesleyan College Tigers, 52-50, Wednesday evening. The Westminster Blue Jays stay in fifth place in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SLIAC) with a 8-7 record, while the Tigers keep hold of first place with a 12-1 conference record.
"We have been on the wrong side of a couple of these tight games," said freshman Bailey Mitchell about the down to the wire loss. "We are learning a lot about late game situations that is going to be incredibly beneficial as we wrap up conference play."
The first half was a back-and-forth battle, with two lead changes and the game tying up four times. With 4:50 remaining in the half, the Tigers started their 7-0 run to take a 10 point lead, but sophomore Jen Herndon hit a short jumper in the paint with 19 seconds left on the clock to send the Blue Jays into halftime trailing, 28-20.
The Tigers came into the second half and grabbed a 14 point lead just six minutes in. The Blue Jays pulled an 8-0 run over the span of the next four minutes, bringing them back into the game. The Blue Jays were down by just four, 42-38, with 8:04 remaining in the game.
A steal and fast break layup by freshman Andrea Zalis, followed by her three-pointer had the Blue Jays within one point, 49-48, with 3:57 left in the game. The Tigers followed with their own three-pointer, taking back the healthy four point lead. Sophomore Mackenzie Haddox knocked down a shot in the lane, putting them down by two, 52-50.
Throughout the last three minutes, neither team was about to put down a shot. With 0.2 on the clock, the Blue Jays passed the ball into the paint, but could not get the shot to fall, ending the game with the 50-52 loss.
"Iowa Wesleyan is a great team; they make our league better," stated Head Coach Tracey Braden. "We had a great defensive effort and I believe we will use this experience moving forward."
"A lot of good things happened defensively for us tonight, we just didn't always translate that momentum to the offensive end," Mitchell threw in.
The Blue Jays were held to just four three-pointers for the night. Zalis led the Blue Jays with 11 points. She added five rebounds, two assists and two steals to the loss. Sophomore Sadie Theroff pulled down six rebounds and Haddox added 9 points.
The Blue Jays travel to Jacksonville, Ill. on Saturday, February 15, for their last conference road game. Tip-off with MacMurray is at 1:00 p.m.