Fulton, MO 1/18/2021 - The Westminster Women's Basketball team returned home to the Historic Gym looking to bounce back from their first conference loss as they took on the Principia Panthers. The Panthers battled in the first half and kept it close but in the end the Blue Jays proved to be to much and ran away with the game 80-45.
Principia had the Blue Jays on the ropes early having the lead throughout most of the first half. That changed with 34 seconds left in the 2nd quarter, a Reese Arnold (Lonedell, Mo. / Washington) steal led to a Corrie Reece (Cape Girardeau, Mo. / Cape Central) three that put the Blue Jays up 29-25. Then with 1.5 seconds left in the half, Avylina Powell-Qualo (Republic, Mo. / Republic) was fouled and shot two free throws. She made the first, missed the second shot and Shelby Kurtz (Camdenton, Mo. / Camdenton) got the offense rebound and made a turnaround jumper right at the buzzer, propelling Westminster to a 32-25 half time lead.
The Blue Jays would put the game out of reach in the second half, scoring a total of 48 points in the half and limiting the Panthers to 20 total points in the second half. Westminster was led by Shelby Kurtz with 15 points, freshman Olivia Hixson (Neosho, MO / Neosho) scored 11 points off the bench, Powell-Qualo scored ten points and led the team with three steals. Madison Schaeffer (Cincinnati, Ohio / Fairfield) dropped in ten points and hauled in ten rebounds, recording another double-double on the season, Maile Peck (Marshfield, MO/ Marshfield) would also pull in nine boards.
Westminster would outshoot Principia 43% to 31% from the field and 68% to 52% from the free throw line, going 13-19 from the line. The Blue Jays outrebounded the Panthers 48-24 and forced 19 turnovers. This resulted in Westminster scoring 26 points off turnovers, 19 of those being fastbreak points. The Blue Jays also scored 21 second chance points and 40 points in the paint. Westminster improved to 7-8 overall and 3-1 in conference on the season with the 80-45 victory over Principia who fell to 1-8 and 0-3 in conference.
Westminster travels to Greenville on Thursday, January 20th to take on the Panthers. That game is scheduled to tip at 5:30 pm. Greenville is allowing spectators and are requiring masks for those who attend.