FULTON, Mo. – The Westminster Women's Basketball Team opened St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play on Wednesday night with a convincing 78-55 victory over Iowa Wesleyan in Historic Gym. Mirrakohl Johnson, the SLIAC's Player of the Week for the second consecutive week, led Westminster with a game-high 22 points.
The win was the fourth straight for the Blue Jays, who improved to 4-1 on the season; 1-0 in conference play.
"I loved the way we sat down and defended tonight, particularly in the first half," Westminster Coach James Arnold said. "We stayed disciplined, stuck to the scout and really got after it."
The Westminster defense held the Tigers to single digits in the first quarter, to take an 18-7 lead at the end of the period. However in the second quarter, the Blue Jay offense picked apart the Iowa Wesleyan zone defense with laser-like precision to explode for 26 points on 9 of 21 shooting from the field – 4-of 11 from 3-point range – to hold a 44-16 advantage at intermission.
In the second half, Westminster led by as many as 36 points, en route to the victory.
"I was happy with how we attacked their zone tonight, Arnold said" "Especially since this is the first time we have seen zone this season."
Westminster scored 30 points in the paint; 17 second chance points. The Blue Jays also scored 15 fast break points and dominated Iowa Wesleyan on the boards, outrebounding the Tigers by a 54-34 margin.
"Offensively we are beginning to turn a corner," Arnold said. "We aren't shooting it particularly well, but we are starting to get some rhythm and starting to get on the same page."
Arnold also had praise for junior guard Rei Imamura's leadership on both ends of the floor for the Blue Jays. Imamura dished out eight assists and committed zero turnovers.
"Rei was dynamite and continues to get better," Arnold said.
Westminster returns to action on Saturday when the Blue Jays travel Carlinville, Ill., to take on Blackburn College in a 1 PM conference matchup.