ST. LOUIS – The Westminster College women's basketball team had a few too many turnovers and some moments of sloppy play, but an impressive defensive and offensive performance in the second quarter was enough to propel the Blue Jays to an 80-63 St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference road win over Fonbonne University. Kallee Dowler led three Westminster players in double figures with 19 points; Kendahl Adams added 18 and Mirrakohl Johnson had 14.
Following a see-saw first quarter that saw six lead changes and found Westminster on top, 16-15, at the end of the period, the Blue Jays exploded for 24 second-quarter points and held the Griffins scoreless for the final 4:49 of the half to take a 40-21 advantage at intermission.
Westminster Coach James Arnold was "impressed" with his team's defensive and offensive execution in that quarter.
"We defended as a team and maybe more impressively we finished each and every possession with a strong rebound," Arnold said. "I thought the second quarter also set the tone for a balanced offensive approach where we did a good job of attacking, making the extra pass, finishing at the rim and working inside-out."
In that second quarter, Westminster shot 50 percent (8 of 16) from the field and a scintillating 83 percent (5 of 6) from 3-point range.
In the third quarter, both teams played fairly even as each scored 23 points. Fontbonne even outscored Westminster in the fourth quarter, 19-17, but the Griffins could not overcome that second quarter deficit.
Westminster (16-4; 10-2) finished the contest shooting 52 percent from the field (34 of 65); 44 percent from 3-point range. The Blue Jays outscored Fontbonne in second chance points, 17-6, but were outscored on fast break points, 12-6. The Griffins scored 24 points off 24 turnovers from the Blue Jays. On the flipside, Westminster score 17 points off of 16 Fontbonne turnovers.
"I think you can credit Fontbonne for some of that (sloppy play and turnovers)," Arnold said.
Defensively, Westminster held Fontbonne (9-11; 5-6) to 43 percent (26 of 61) shooting from the field and 15 percent (3 of 20) from beyond the arc.
Raven Venegas led three Fontbonne players in double figures with a game-high 20 points. Sarah Schraut added 13 points off the bench and Rylee Stafford added 11.
Arnold had praise for recent transfers Jackie and Reese Arnold, who joined the team at the semester from Lindenwood University.
"They are really starting to get comfortable and have given us a nice boost of energy and some great depth," Arnold said. "Tonight, Jackie came in and gave us a big lift."
Jackie Arnold scored nine points off the bench for Westminster.
Westminster returns to action on Saturday as the Blue Jays travel to Louisville, Ky., for a road contest against Spalding University. Arnold said reducing turnovers will be an area the Blue Jays "will continue to work and focus on" heading into Saturday's matchup.