Eureka Outlasts Westminster Women's Basketball in Overtime

Eureka Outlasts Westminster Women's Basketball in Overtime

FULTON, Mo. - Westminster women's basketball falls in overtime to Eureka despite double doubles from Mikalyn Callahan and Kelsey Ray.

The Blue Jays fall to 6-7 with the loss and 3-3 in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. 

"We fought hard tonight and really did a good job of executing the game plan," said Westminster Head Coach James Arnold. "It felt like we did enough, but there's a reason they are the defending champions. We were short-handed this week and had some players who played big minutes even though they weren't able to practice all week due to sickness. I was impressed by our resiliency and our ability to put ourselves in a position for a big win."

The high-scoring first quarter resulted in a 29-19 Blue Jay deficit, including 10 points from Kendahl Adams, who was an offensive force in the first half. After a back-and-forth first five minutes, the Red Devils went on a run to take the 10 point lead after 10 minutes of play. 

Westminster's second quarter saw the Blue Jays storming back into the game, scoring 25 points and holding the Red Devils to just 11 after opening with a 10-2 run. Payton Beeler, Adams, and Lydia Hale each knocked down three-pointers during the run to spark the comeback. After a Jahne Williams layup at the 3:58 mark, Westminster was up 39-34. Freethrows from Adams increased the lead to seven, the largest for Westminster all game. The Blue Jays closed out the half leading 44-40, including 18 points from Adams. 

The teams traded baskets in the third quarter but in the end, the Red Devils were able to outscore Westminster to get back within one point with 10 minutes to play. Mirrakohl Johnson kept Westminster afloat in the third quarter with six of the team's 18 points. 

The offense for the Blue Jays became stagnant in the fourth quarter, allowing the Red Devils to take the lead with a 10-2 run in the opening five minutes of the quarter. Westminster ended the last two minutes on a 6-0 which included a jumpshot from Callahan and two layups from Mirrakohl Johnson, to tie the game at 75 apiece with 1:26 remaining. Both teams failed to score in the next 86 seconds, but Johnson was sent to the line with four seconds remaining in regulation. After missing both freethrows, Eureka took the ball down the floor to try to win the game, but the would-be winning shot was waived after Eureka was called for a charge taken by Makayla Jackson to send the game into overtime. 

After a Johnson layup to open overtime, the Red Devils went on an 10-3 run to take an 84-79 lead with just over one minute to play. Jahne Williams and Callahan hit jumpers down the stretch, but it was ultimately not enough to stop the Eureka. 

Adams led the Blue Jays with 19 points. Callahan earned a double-double with 14 points and 19 rebounds, including 12 offensive. Kelsey Ray tallied a double-double with 11 rebounds and 10 assists. 

"We have a lot of work to do and we need to continue to improve if we want to advance to the SLIAC tournament," said Arnold. "I am confident that if we can find a way to get there, we can do some damage."

The Blue Jays remain at home Friday for a nonconference matchup against Barclay at 6 p.m.