Story by: Kayla Reeg
The Lady Blue Jays had another strong win over conference opponent MacMurray College with a score of 81-54. With this win, Westminster moves 6-2 in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and a 10-4 overall.
"We did some good things: came out with good energy—ran the floor well and increased our pressure in the full court. We need to continue to work on executing within our half-court defense," Head Coach Tracey Braden responded to the win.
Two baskets were quickly made by both teams for a 4-4 score. A three-pointer from junior Andrea Zalis started a 20-0 run for the Lady Blue Jays, stretching their lead to 24-4 with 2:45 left in the first quarter. High energy and excitement from the Westminster starters allowed for them to take the early, fast lead in the beginning of the game. MacMurray fought back and shortened the Blue Jay's lead to 26-11 at the end of the first quarter.
Westminster kept the pressure on during the second quarter. The team effort from the Blue Jays allowed for them to have continuous success. The Lady Blue Jays had another strong run, outscoring the Highlanders 14-2. Zalis, junior Payton Gruber, senior Kasey Gatson, and sophomore Payton Beeler all made baskets in the run. Beeler put the last basket in going into halftime with a 49-21 lead.
Gatson came out ready to play in the third quarter. She put up 12 points for the Lady Blue Jays. The fourth quarter brought many new people into the game, as there were no starters in the final quarter. Freshmen Mirrakohl Johnson and Ali Perry each gave the Lady Blue Jays two baskets. Junior Bailey Mitchell made the last jump shot to end the game 81-54.
"I think we came out in the first half with great energy," Payton Beeler commented on the team's win. "I think in the second half we lost some of the energy but we continued to work hard on defense and force turnovers in the backcourt. We still have some things to work on but I'm excited for what we have in store."
Gatson lead the team with 19 points, eight assists, and four steals. Andrea Zalis added 17 points and seven rebounds.
The Lady Blue Jays will travel to Elsah, Illinois for a SLIAC matchup against Principia College on Tuesday, January 19.