Decatur, IL, 11/6/21 – The Blue Jay women's basketball team wrapped up their participation in the Millikin University Tip-Off Tournament on Saturday afternoon when they took on the Illinois College Lady Blues. The Blue Jays raced out to a 20-point lead three minutes into the fourth quarter but had to withstand a furious Illinois College rally to hold on to win their first game of the season 75-70. The win improved the Blue Jays record to 1-1 on the young season.
With the score tied at 12 with 1:35 seconds remaining in the first quarter freshman Maile Peck (Marshfield, MO / Marshfield) hit a free throw for the first point of her collegiate career to give the Blue Jays a 13-12 lead. A few seconds later fellow freshman Annette Ramirez (Sarcoxie, MO / Sarcoxie) would hit a three off of a Lady Blue turnover to make it 16-12 and then senior Reese Arnold (Lonedell, Mo. / Washington) drove for a lay up off of a Corrie Reece (Cape Girardeau, Mo. / Cape Central) assist to make it 18-12. The Blue Jays would never trail again in the game.
Avylina Powell-Qualo (Republic, MO / Republic) would give the Blue Jays their biggest lead of the first half 39-29 on a jumper with 1:29 left in the first half. The Jays would take a 39-31 lead into the half.
The third quarter saw the Blue Jays widen their lead. An Arnold jump shot and a Powell-Qualo layup stretched the Jays lead to 62-45. Later in the fourth quarter an Arnold three pointer off of another Reece assist gave the Blue Jays their biggest lead of the night at 67-47 with 7:37 left in the game. It looked like the Jays would cruise to the victory. The Lady Blues would respond and hit five three pointers in the last seven minutes and cut the Jays lead all the way down to 73-70 with :19 left but two Madison Schaeffer (Cincinnati, Ohio / Fairfield) free throws would ice the game for the Jays who would come away with the 75-70 win.
Powel-Qualo would lead the way for the Jays with a team high 20 points. She was followed closely by the senior Arnold and the freshman Ramirez who each tallied 19 points. The 19 points is a career high for the young talented freshman guard. Guard Shelby Kurtz (Camdenton, MO / Camdenton) led the way on the boards with eight rebounds. The Blue Jays outrebounded the Lady Blues 37-34. Reece and Arnold each had three assists apiece to lead the Jays.
The Blue Jays will be back in action next Friday November 12th when they will travel to Cedar Rapids, IA to play Coe College in the first of two games in the Coe College Tournament. The game is scheduled for a 7:00 p.m. tip-off.