FULTON, Mo. - Mirrakohl Johnson led Westminster women's basketball to an overtime victory over Webster with 33 points and 22 rebounds, breaking the gameday record for rebounds.
The Blue Jays improve to 4-2 overall, including starting the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference season 1-0.
"The ladies found some tremendous toughness tonight and found a way to win," said Westminster Head Coach James Arnold. "MJ (Johnson) was huge tonight! She battled and went to work. She is so tough and continues to anchor us inside."
Westminster got out to a strong start offensively, with Webster opening the game with a full-court press to increase the tempo of the game. After one quarter of fast-paced play, the Blue Jays took an eight-point 24-16 lead on the back of eight points from Kendahl Adams.
After a layup from Grace Archambault, the next 10 points belonged to Johnson, increasing the Blue Jay lead to double-digits. A jumper from Adams closed out the quarter with a 40-30 Westminster lead going into the half.
The strong Westminster offense hit a wall to start the second half, scoring just six points in the third quarter to allow the Gorloks to get back into the game. After Adams hit two shots to go up 14, the Gorloks went on a 17-2 run to take the lead back 47-46 going into the fourth quarter.
"Webster is so good at turning you over with their pressure and I thought in the third quarter we got a little frazzled and played into their hands so they could make a big run," said Arnold.
Webster went up by as many as five points in the fourth quarter, but Mikalyn Callahan, Johnson, and Adams kept Westminster in the game. Two Webster freethrows with 14 seconds left put the Gorloks up by four points, but a quick layup from Adams pulled Westminster back within two with nine seconds to play.
Westminster fouled with four seconds left to force freeethrows from Webster. The Gorloks sunk one freethrow to go up by three points and give Westminster the ball back with four seconds to play.
With the clock winding down, Kelsey Ray found an open Callahan behind the three-point line, who sunk the critical shot to send the Blue Jays into overtime.
From that point on, it was all Westminster. Johnson scored the first eight points of overtime to remain nearly unstoppable in the paint, while Callahan sealed the victory with another three-pointer.
"I'm happy for Callahan too," said Arnold. "She had a turnover late, but didn't let it get her down. Not only was she able to hit the three to send us to overtime, she hit a crucial one at the end of overtime."
On top of Johnson's big night, Adams recorded a double-double of her own with 20 points and 10 boards.
Westminster goes on the road to face SLIAC opponent Greenville Saturday. Tipoff is set for 1 p.m.