FULTON, Mo. – It wasn't pretty, but the end result was an 87-74 victory for the Westminster women's basketball team Saturday over Eureka College in Historic Gym. Kendahl Adams and Mirrakohl Johnson scored 19 and 18 points, respectively, to lead four Blue Jay starters in double figures, as Westminster improved to 15-4 on the season, 9-2 in St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conferenceplay.
"Today was a really gritty and tough performance for our ladies," Westminster Coach James Arnold said. "Eureka is very talented and has a ton of weapons. I was really happy that we were able to string together enough stops to pull away."
Following an early 9-7 advantage by the Red Devils in the first quarter, Westminster was able to put some distance between itself and Eureka, closing out the period on a 17-4 run to lead, 24-13, after one. In the second quarter, the Blue Jays led by as many as 17 points, 45-28, with 2:52 before intermission. However, a 9-2 run by the Red Devils chipped away at the lead and Eureka only trailed at the half by 10, 47-37.
In the second half, Eureka (8-10, 3-7) continued to claw, but never could get closer than seven points, and the Blue Jays hung on for the win. Samantha Sarnes led three Red Devils in double figures with 29 points. Ashley Harfst added 19 points and Olivia Falls chipped in 13.
Westminster was cold from the outside, shooting just 21 percent from 3-point range on 6-of-29 shooting. The Blue Jays were efficient in the paint, punishing the smaller Red Devil players for 40 points in the paint.
"We knew we had a bit of an advantage in the post and we did a great job of exploiting that in the second half especially," Arnold said. "(Johnson), Mikalyn Callahan and Abbie Reece all had big games and we needed it."
Callahan was just shy of a double-double performance with nine points and 11 rebounds, while Reece contributed 15 points.
For the contest, Westminster shot 46 percent from the field (34-74) while holding Eureka to 40 percent from the field (23-58). The Red Devils shot 31 percent (6 -19) from 3-point range. The Blue Jays outrebounded Eureka, 44-29.
Arnold also had praise for sophomore guard Makayla Jackson, who was the fourth Blue Jay player in double figures with 11 points and five rebounds.
"I think Makayla Jackson continues to show tremendous growth as she transitions to the point guard role," he said. "I've been thrilled with her development and today she was a floor general out there."
The Blue Jays return to action on Wednesday when they travel to St. Louis to face Fontbonne.