Greenville, IL 1/20/2022- The Westminster College women's basketball team looked to continue their winning ways as they traveled to take on the Greenville University Panthers in a Thursday night showdown. Both teams got off to a slow start and then a flurry of offense from the Blue Jays resulted in six unanswered points as the quarter came to an end with a score of 17-12 in favor of Westminster.
Shelby Kurtz (Camdenton, Mo. / Camdenton) started the second quarter off with a bang hitting a three pointer, answering one that Greenville made eight seconds into the quarter. Westminster was able to keep the Panthers at arm's length throughout the second quarter, never letting them get within more then four points. The Blue Jays opened the game up by scoring on three straight possessions, Corrie Reece (Cape Girardeau, Mo. / Cape Central) hit a three-pointer with 5:53 left in the second quarter, then Kurtz hit back-to-back shots of her own, a two-point jumper and then a three-pointer to give Westminster an eight-point lead at 32-24 with 4:46 to go before halftime. The first half would come to an end with the Blue Jays up 43-32.
The Blue Jays came out of the break and went on an 8-3 run and a pair of Annette Ramirez (Sarcoxie, MO / Sarcoxie) free throws gave Westminster their largest lead of the game at 16 points with 5:02 to go in the third quarter, 51-35. To Greenville's credit, they battled and came back to keep the game close as the Panthers would close the gap to 53-46 heading into the fourth quarter. The Blue Jays could not get away from the Panthers and the lead shrank to just three points at 71-68 but the Blue Jays would hold onto the lead with a pair of clutch free throws by Kurtz to ensure the victory. The Blue Jays led the entire second half and would go on to win this one 73-68. The Jays improved to 8-8 overall and 4-1 in conference.
Westminster continues to ride the hot hand of sophomore Shelby Kurtz, who led the team in points with 19 and in rebounds with 5. She was joined by three other Blue Jays who scored double figures, Madison Schaeffer (Cincinnati, Ohio / Fairfield) and Annette Ramirez scored 12 points each and senior Reese Arnold (Lonedell, Mo. / Washington) chipped in 11 points and led the team in assists with 5. Corrie Reece stood out on the defensive end tonight with five steals and a block.
Shooting and rebounds were even across the board in this one, Westminster shot 46% from the field compared to Greenville's 45%, Greenville would outshoot the Blues Jays from behind the 3-point line 35% to Westminster's 27%. The difference was really at the free throw line, with Westminster shooting 10-14 for 71% and Greenville shooting 7-11 for 63%. The Panthers would outrebound the Blue Jays 37-35. Westminster forced 22 turnovers that they would turn into 22 points. The Blue Jays also outscored their opponent 32-26 on points in the paint.
Head coach Talisha Washington said after the game "proud of our girls tonight! They played hard, in a tough environment against a great team."
The women's basketball team returns to Fulton to prepare for a game Saturday afternoon against the Spalding University Golden Eagles. The game is scheduled to tip at 1:00 p.m. in the Historic Gym.