St. Louis, Mo., March 31, 2021 – The SLIAC Regular Season Championship was on the line Wednesday night in St. Louis as the Westminster College Blue Jays met the Webster University Gorloks. The Gorloks used an active press to open up a lead and then held on at the end of the game as the Blue Jays were mounting a furious rally. The Gorloks would post the 94-84 win that ensured them at least a share of the conference championship.
The Game would get off to a rocky start for the Blue Jays. Reese Arnold would hit a jumper for the first points of the game but Webster would score the next 16 straight for a 16-2 advantage. Corrie Reece and Shelby Kurtz would each score five points in the second quarter as the Blue Jays tried to steady themselves. The Blue Jays however, would trail for the remainder of the half as the Gorlok lead grew to 21 at the half 56-35.
The third quarter saw the Gorloks take their biggest lead of the night at 72-47 with just 2:40 to play in the third. It was then that the Blue Jays would begin a spirited and determined comeback. The Jays would score the final eight points of the quarter. Madison Schaeffer and Corrie Reece would hit back to back shots and then Arnold would knock down a jumper and the Gorlock lead was down to 72-53. Two Abby Nichols free throws just before the end of the quarter made the score 72-55 entering the fourth and final quarter.
The run continued in the fourth with an Avylina Powel-Qualo made lay up off of a Kallee Dowler assist to cap a 10-0 run. A little later back to back threes by Arnold and Kurtz along with a two by Kurtz cut the Gorlok lead down to just 10 at 75-65 with 7:33 to play and the Blue Jays were back in business.
Two Powel-Qualo free throws and two Schaeffer free throws and a Powel-Qualo lay up cut the Gorlok lead to 81-76 with 4:21 to play. The 25-point Gorlok lead was cut to five in just about eight minutes. The Blue Jays just couldn't cut any deeper into the lead as they would trade baskets between 6-8 points the rest of the game. The Blue Jays showed a lot of heart and determination in their comeback but just ran out of time.
The Blue Jays were led in scoring by Arnold and Powel-Qualo who scored 21 points each. They were joined in double figures by Schaeffer and Kurtz with 12 points each. Corrie Reece scored a season high nine points off the bench.
Powel-Qualo pulled down seven rebounds to help the Jays win the rebound battle 26-24. The Gorloks outshot the Blue Jays from the field 55.2% to 46.1% while the Jays held the advantage in three-point shooting going 6-13 for 46% compared to Websters 5-12 for 41.7%.
The Blue Jays will now turn their attention to the SLIAC Conference Tournament where they will be the #2 seed and have a quarterfinal home game. The rest of the field and seeding are yet to be determined as others will play this weekend. The tournament is scheduled to start Wednesday April 7th. Stay tuned to www.wcbluejays.com for all the conference tournament information as we will find out who will visit Historic Gym for next weeks quarterfinal match-up.