Mt. Pleasant, Ia. – Talisha Washington and her Westminster College Blue Jays came into tonight's road game riding the high of a three-game winning streak. A rough shooting first half was forgotten about after a 54-point second half led the Blue Jays to a 88-68 win at Iowa Wesleyan University.
In the first half the Blue Jays struggled to get anything going offensively. The Blue Jays fell behind at the end of the first quarter but an Abbie Reece made a three pointer just before the end of the quarter that cut the lead to 27-20 after the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter saw the Tigers extend their lead to double figures as the perimeter shooters had a tough night from three. The Blue Jays kept battling and when Kallee Dowler hit a three pointer with 1:26 to play in the half to cut the lead to 39-34. The Tigers responded by hitting a three of their own and went into the break trailing 42-34.
The second half started and the Blue Jays would mount a comeback. Abbie Reece started it with a jumper and then Avylina Powell-Qualo scored two baskets in a row and all of a sudden, the lead was dwindling for IWU. Another Abbie Reece bucket just before the end of the third quarter tied the game at 57 heading into the fourth quarter.
The final quarter the Blue Jays put on a clinic shooting an astounding 75% from the field in the quarter and posting 31 points. The Jays took the lead for good on a Powel-Qualo basket from a Madison Schaeffer assist 61-60 and they would never give it back widening their lead and winning 88-68. The Blue Jays scored 54 second half points in rout to the victory.
Abbie Reece had a great night and led the Blue Jays in scoring with 19 points. Reese Arnold and Schaeffer each had 17 points. Powel-Qualo followed with a double-double 15 points and a game high 14 rebounds.
Powel-Qualo led the way on the boards but was followed closely by Abby Nichols with nine and Schaeffer with eight. Schaeffer also added a team high six assists. The Blue Jays shot 48% due greatly to the hot shooting fourth quarter.
Coach Washington had this to say about tonight's effort, "We had a tough start tonight, we weren't physically and mentally ready to play the first half. In the second half we pulled it together and adjusted our play. I'm proud of the fight we showed in the second half. It shows a lot of growth and maturity to battle back like that.
The Blue Jays will be back in action in Historic Gym on Saturday afternoon against conference rival Webster University. Tip off is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.