EUREKA, Ill. – All good things must come to an end. That end was Saturday for the Eureka College women's basketball team against Westminster College.
The Red Devils were riding high following a prolific week that saw Eureka garner three wins in four days. But the Blue Jays were able to overcome a slow start and grind out an 80-71 road victory, snapping Eureka's win streak.
"We had a slow start in the first half," Westminster Coach Talisha Washington said. "We didn't rebound like we should have and made fundamental mistakes."
Eureka led the Blue Jays 18-15 after the first quarter, but the Blue Jays rallied to hold a slim 32-31 advantage at halftime. A big third quarter that saw Westminster outscore Eureka was key and gave the Blue Jays a 56-46 lead at the end of the period. Westminster was outscored 35-34 in the fourth quarter but was able to hold on for the win.
Westminster had four players in double figures, including a game-high 29 points from sophomore Abbie Reece. Senior Mikalyn Callahan added 16 points, freshman Abby Nichols had a career-high 13 points and junior Kallee Dowler chipped in 10.
Westminster, which led by as many as 10 points in the contest, shot 45 percent from the field on 32-of-71 shooting from the field. The Blue Jays shot 28 percent (7-25) from 3-point range and 56 percent from the free-throw line. Eureka shot 41 percent from the field (26-62); 27 percent from beyond the arc (7-26).
Despite being outrebounded by Eureka, 42-39 and losing the turnover battle by a 24-18 margin, Washington said she was proud of the "grit" her team demonstrated in the victory.
"We buckled down in the second half and trusted the scouting report," she said. "Everyone stepped up to get the job done."
With the win the Blue Jays improve to 3-4 on the season; 2-1 in SLIAC play. The loss dropped the Red Devils to 6-3 on the season; 2-1 in conference play. Westminster returns to action on Wednesday when the Blue Jays travel to St. Louis to face Washington University in a non-conference contest.