Fulton, MO 1/31/2023- The Westminster College women's basketball team hosted Principia College for the annual Coaches vs Cancer game on Tuesday night. Westminster partnered with the Super Sam Foundation, they are a pediatric cancer foundation that focuses on raising awareness, funding research, and supporting families. The Blue Jay coaches wore suits and sneakers, while the players wore specially made warmups. It was a tight game that saw five lead changes and four ties. In the end, the Blue Jays would pull away and win the game 62-51. Westminster improves to 12-8 on the year and 6-3 in the SLIAC. With the win, they take over the third seed with five games remaining on the schedule.
Westminster started the game with a 10-4 lead and it looked like they were about to run away with it. Principia would get a steal that led to a three to make it 10-7. The Blue Jays would score six in a row and go up 16-7 after an Aly Bullock (St. James, MO / St. James) jump shot. The Panthers hit a three at the end of the quarter to make 16-10 heading into the second quarter.
Principia would tie the game up 18-18 with 5:39 left in the first half after hitting another three, their third of the game. They would then take the lead and go up 26-19 with under 2 minutes before halftime. Annette Ramirez (Sarcoxie, MO / Sarcoxie) ended the half on a 5-0 run, scoring a three-pointer and a layup to send the Blue Jays into the locker room trailing 26-24.
The start of the second half saw Principia score on their first two possessions to extend their lead to 30-24. Shelby Kurtz (Camdenton, MO/ Camdenton) would tie the game 30-30, after making back-to-back threes. They would exchange baskets for the next couple of minutes. The Blue Jays would get the lead back after Carli Libhart (Rolla, MO/Rolla) scored a layup to make it 36-35. Westminster would get a couple of stops that led to Caragan Lockard (Eolia, MO / Clopton) making two straight baskets to extend their lead to five. The Panthers would get to the free-throw line a few times to make it 40-38. The Panthers would make an offensive rebound putback at the buzzer to end the third quarter trailing 44-40.
Westminster entered the fourth quarter with a four-point lead. They would extend that lead to nine points in the opening moments of the quarter to go up 49-40. Kiley Ingram (Licking, Missouri / Licking) made a pair of free throws to put the Blue Jays up 51-41 with 5:49 remaining. They would maintain that lead for the rest of the game and win it 62-51.
The Jays were led by Ramirez who had 19 points and 6 rebounds. Kurtz had 10 points and 8 rebounds. Natalie Archambault (Eureka, MO/ Eureka) had 10 points and 3 rebounds. Lockard was the fourth Blue Jay to score in double figures, scoring 10 points off the bench.
Westminster will be back in action on Saturday, February 4th when they hit the road to take on the Eureka College Red Devils. That game will tip at 1:00 PM.