Fulton, Mo 2/23/2022- The Westminster women's basketball team was back on the court Wednesday night, as they hosted the Blackburn College Beavers in the quarterfinals of the SLIAC Women's Basketball Tournament. The second-seeded Blue Jays defeated the seventh-seeded Beavers by a final score of 89-50 and advanced to the tournament semifinals.
Blue Jay senior guard Reese Arnold (Lonedell, Mo. / Washington) scored her 1,000th career point on her last basket inside the Historic Gym. Arnold ended the game with 29 points, leading all scorers in the contest. Arnold is the 11th player in program history to reach the 1000-point mark.
The Blue Jays shot the ball well in this one, going 35-87 (40.2%) from the floor and 7-24 (29%) from three. They dominated the glass, outrebounding the Beavers 60-37 and pulling in 20 offensive boards. Westminster forced 28 turnovers in the game and converted those turnovers into 27 points on the other end.
The Jays were ready right from the opening tip, scoring the first 15 points of the game and holding the Beavers scoreless until their first basket, with 4:21 remaining. Corrie Reece (Cape Girardeau, Mo. Cape Central) scored a fast-break layup at the end of the scoring run. Later in the quarter, Caragan Lockard (Eolia, MO / Clopton) scored an offensive rebound put back, putting Westminster up 19-2. The Blue Jays held Blackburn to only five points in the quarter. The quarter came to end with a score of 21-5.
The second quarter was much of the same. Abbie Reece (Cape Girardeau, Mo. / Cape Central) scored the first points of the quarter, hitting a jump shot and scoring two of her nineteen points. The Blue Jay's tenacious defense continued, only allowing Blackburn to score nine points in the second quarter and 14 total points in the half. Westminster headed to the locker rooms at halftime leading 39-14.
The Beaver's offense would come to life in parts of the third quarter and would be their best quarter of the game, scoring 19 points. However, every time they would build some momentum, the Blue Jay defense would snuff it out and answer right back on the offensive end and keep their lead above 20 points for the rest of the game.
The Blue Jays would cruise to an 89-50 victory over the Beavers. Arnold had 29 points, Abbie Reece scored 19, Avylina Powell-Qualo (Republic, Mo./Republic) notched 11 and grabbed a career-high 15 rebounds. Freshman Annette Ramirez (Sarcoxie, MO / Sarcoxie) chipped in 11 coming off the bench.
The women's basketball team will continue the defense of their SLIAC Tournament title in a semifinal matchup on Friday, February 25th, when they face off against the #3 seed the Greenville University Panthers at 5:30 p.m. The game will be hosted by Webster University and live streamed by Prepcasts.