Fulton, MO, 11/23/21 – A steal and layup with 29.2 seconds to play in the game gave the visiting Blue Tigers a 75-74 lead on the Westminster College Blue Jays women's basketball. The Blue Tigers would get a stop and convert a free throw with .1 seconds left to win the game 76-74 leaving behind a stunned Blue Jays team that had led for most of the game against the NCAA Division II scholarship school. The loss dropped the Blue Jays record to 3-3 on the young season as they will take a couple days to enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday before returning to campus for their final home game of the first semester scheduled for this coming Saturday at 1:00 p.m.
The Blue Tigers would score the first four points of the game before the Blue Jays got going with 12 straight points to take a 12-4 lead over the visiting Blue Tigers. Seven points on the run came from twin sisters Abbie Reece (Cape Girardeau, Mo. / Cape Central) and Corrie Reece (Cape Girardeau, Mo. / Cape Central). The Blue Jays lead would continue throughout the first half of the nip and tuck game. The Blue Jays would lead by just two points at the half 38-36 thanks to a Shelby Kurtz (Camdenton, MO / Camdenton) lay in off of an assist from Madison Schaeffer (Cincinnati, Ohio / Fairfield).
The Blue Jays would race out of halftime on a 12-6 run. The run was capped off by the first of senior guard Kallee Dowler's (Barnesville, Ohio / Barnesville) five second half threes that gave the Blue Jays a 50-42 lead with 6:27 left in the third quarter and equaled their largest lead of the game at eight points. The Blue Tigers would battle back and eventually take their first lead since two minutes into the game when they converted a lay up with 2:03 to play in the third quarter to take a 55-54 lead. The Blue Tiger lead was 59-57 as time wound down in the period freshman guard Annette Ramirez (Sarcoxie, MO / Sarcoxie) would drive to the basket, appear to draw contact, but still finish an acrobatic runner to tie the score at 59-59 as the third quarter ended.
The Blue Jays would be led by Dowler in the fourth quarter as she would hit back to back threes to break a 61-61 tie and give the Blue Jays a 67-61 lead with 6:22 left in the game. Dowler would finish with a team high 15 points on 5-6 shooting from three-point range. Lincoln would chip away and close the lead to just one point at 74-73 with :46 seconds left to play. The Blue Jays would have possession looking to try to put away the Blue Tigers. Disaster struck at the :31 second mark as the Blue Jays were attempting to execute a dribble hand back Lincoln's Niyah Jackson got in between the two Jays, stole the ball and raced in for an uncontested lay up to take the lead 75-74 with :29.2 seconds left. The Blue Jays would attempt to win the game on their last possession but a turnover in the closing seconds led to a Jackson free throw to make it 76-74 for the Blue Tigers with 0.1 seconds left and when she missed the second shot the horn sounded and the Blue Tigers had stolen away the game from the Blue Jays.
Dowler led the team in scoring with 17 points followed by Ramirez with 11 and Kurtz with ten to round out the double figure scorers for the Blue Jays. Abbie Reece and Madison Schaeffer each recorded seven rebounds apiece to lead the Blue Jays to a 38-36 rebound advantage over the taller Blue Tigers. Reece and Schaeffer also led the Jays in assists with four each. The difference in the game came down to two stats. The Blue Tigers forced 25 Blue Jay turnovers compared to 18 for Lincoln. The Blue Tigers outshot the Blue Jays at the free-throw line going 18-27 compared to 15-22 for the Blue Jays. The Blue Jays would shoot 47.2% from the field compared to 41.2% for the Blue Tigers.
The Blue Jays will be back in action at home on Saturday November 27th when they take on the Monmouth College Fighting Scotts in Historic Gym. The game is scheduled for a 1:00 p.m. tip-off.