Eureka, IL, 1/5/2022 – The Westminster College women's basketball team traveled to Eureka, Illinois to take on the Eureka College Red Devils to kick-off SLIAC conference play Wednesday afternoon. The Blue Jays played a very difficult non-conference schedule, they are looking to use that experience and come away with a win in the conference opener.
The Blue Jays came ready to play and wreaked havoc early in the game on both offense and defense, jumping out to an early 11-4 lead midway through the first quarter. Eureka was able to draw six team fouls against Westminster and get to the free throw line and cut the lead to six by the end of the first quarter, 14-8 in favor of the Blue Jays.
Eureka continued to capitalize on their opportunities at the free throw line in the second quarter, cutting the lead to one point early in the quarter making it 16-15. Westminster was able to answer with a 12 to 5 run and went into halftime leading Eureka 30-20.
Both teams battled back and forth at the start of the second half and the Red Devils were able to cut the deficit to nine points. However, a three pointer from Maile Peck (Marshfield, MO / Marshfield), layups by Shelby Kurtz (Camdenton, Mo. / Camdenton) and Abbie Reece (Cape Girardeau, Mo. / Cape Central) brought the Blue Jay lead back up to fifteen points at the 2:24 mark in the third quarter.
Heading into the fourth quarter the Westminster Blue Jays led the Eureka Red Devils 49-36. The Blue Jay offense exploded in the fourth quarter scoring a total of 20 points and increasing their lead to nineteen at one point. Westminster would win the game with a final score of 69-51 over Eureka College.
Reese Arnold (Lonedell, Mo. / Washington) led the way with a season high 28 points, she also led the team in rebounds along with Avylina Powell-Qulao (Republic, Mo. / Republic) and Abbie Reece (Cape Girardeau, Mo. / Cape Central) with the three of them having eight rebounds apiece.
The Blue Jays were very active on defense in this game, causing 17 total turnovers, 9 of those were steals, which led to them scoring 13 total points off turnovers. Westminster out shot Eureka both from the field and the free throw line. Westminster shot 39% from the field compared to Eureka's 26%. The Blue Jays also shot 90% from the free throw line making eighteen of their twenty attempts.
With the win the Westminster Blue Jays improve their record to 5-7 overall and are now 1-0 in SLIAC conference play. The Blue Jays take the court again on Saturday, January 8th in the conference home opener against Principia. That game tips off in the historic gym at 3:00 p.m.