Blue Jays Prevail In Home Opener

Blue Jays Prevail In Home Opener

Fulton, MO, 11/20/21 – The Westminster College women's basketball team started their season with four straight road games.  Saturday afternoon the Blue Jays would play the first of three straight home games.  The home opener would see the Jays welcome the Nebraska Wesleyan University Prairie Wolves to Historic Gym.  The game was a tight contest that saw eight ties and 15 lead changes.  The Blue Jays would run out to their largest lead of the game 63-53 on a Reese Arnold (Lonedell, MO / Washington) three point shot with 4:10 to play in the game and they would hold on to claim the victory 71-64. The win pushed the Blue Jay record to 3-2.

The Blue Jays would go 3-5 from three in the opening quarter.  Arnold, Abbie Reece (Cape Girardeau, MO / Cape Central) and Chloe Akerson (Saint Louis, MO / Lutheran South) would each knock down a triple for the Jays and they would lead 16-15 at the end of one.  The second quarter was much of the same as neither team led by more than three.  A jump shot with 52 seconds left in the half gave the Prairie Wolves a one-point lead going into halftime 33-32.

The Blue Jays came out in the second half with buckets by Shelby Kurtz (Camdenton, MO / Camdenton), Avylina Powell-Qualo (Republic, MO / Republic) and Arnold that gave the Jays the lead 38-35.  The game would go back and forth and at the end of the third quarter freshman Annette Ramirez (Sarcoxie, MO / Sarcoxie) would get a steal and convert a lay-up to tie the game at 45 all heading to the fourth quarter.

The fourth quarter proved to be a good one for the Blue Jays as they built their lead to ten points on two different occasions during the quarter.  Arnold and the Blue Jays would keep the Prairie Wolves at arm's length as the guard would convert four consecutive free throws to help close out the game 71-64.

Arnold led the way for the Blue Jays with a season high 25 points.  She was joined in double-figures by Powell-Qualo who had 11 points. Powell-Qualo would lead the Blue Jays on the boards with ten rebounds. Abbie Reece would lead the Jays in assists with four.  Madison Schaeffer (Cincinnati, Ohio / Fairfield), Powell-Qualo and Kurtz each recorded two steals each.

The game also marked the return of senior Kallee Dowler (Barnesville, OH / Barnesville) from an injury.  The leader saw action for the first time since last season.  She would hit a big fourth quarter three in her return.  Dowler's return means that the Blue Jays have gotten healthy for the first time this season.

The Blue Jays will be back in action in their second straight home game on Tuesday night November 23rd when they will welcome the NCAA Division II team Lincoln University from Jefferson City, MO.  The game is scheduled for a 5:30 p.m. tip-off in Historic Gym.

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