Daytona Beach, FL –The Westminster College women's basketball team returned to the court after a 16 day lay-off over final exams. Turnovers and rebounding plagued the Blue Jays in their opening game of the Daytona Beach Shootout against the Carroll University Pioneers. The Pioneers turned 23 Blue Jay turnovers into 28 points and they also hauled in 29 offensive rebounds on the way to 25 second chance points. Those two factors were too much to overcome as the Blue Jays went down in defeat on Monday 79-42 to the Pioneers. The loss drops the Blue Jays record to 4-5 on the season.
The game got off to a good start for the Blue Jays as Reese Arnold (Lonedell, MO / Washington) would score off of a nice drive down the right side and would follow that up with two free throws after being fouled going to the basket for a 4-0 advantage out of the blocks. A Shelby Kurtz (Camdenton, MO / Camdenton) turnaround jumper gave the Blue Jays another four-point lead at 6-2 and it would be their largest of the game. A 9-0 run by the Pioneers saw them take a lead they would never give back at 11-6.
The Pioneers would see their lead grow to 22-13 at the end of the first quarter.
The Blue Jays would fall behind by 16 in the second quarter before going on an 8-0 run to get the Pioneer lead back to single digits. Kurtz would be responsible for five of those eight points on her way to a team high 13 points on the day. Freshman guard Olivia Hixon (Neosho, MO / Neosho) would bury a three pointer off of a Chloe Akerson assist (St. Louis, MO / Lutheran South) to cut the Pioneer lead down to 34-26. The Pioneers would answer with a bucket just before the halftime buzzer as they bounced in a shot to make the lead 36-26 at the break.
In the second half the Blue Jays offense struggled to get back going. The Pioneer defense held the Blue Jays in check limiting their opportunities on the way to the 79-42 final score. The Pioneers outshot the Blue Jays 39% to 27% from the field. Each team made five three pointers. The Pioneers went 12-16 from the free throw line while the Jays were 9-14 from the line. The Pioneers held a huge advantage on the boards as they outrebounded the Blue Jays 57-30. The rebounding led to a 50-12 advantage for the Pioneers in points in the paint. They also won the turnover battle with 16 turnovers to the Blue Jays 23.
Kurtz led the team in points with 13 and was the lone Blue Jay in double figures. Madison Schaeffer (Cincinnati, Ohio / Fairfield) led the team with four rebounds. Avylina Powell-Qualo (Republic, MO / Republic) led the team with two assists and three steals. Corrie Reece (Cape Girardeau, Mo. / Cape Central) had two blocked shots for the Jays.
The Blue Jays will face a quick turnaround as they will be back in action tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. (CST). The Blue Jays will face off against the Simpson College Storm in their second and final game of the Daytona Beach Shootout.