Carlinville, IL 1/25/2022- The Westminster College women's basketball team traveled to Carlinville, Illinois, and took on the Blackburn College Beavers. Madison Schaeffer (Cincinnati, Ohio / Fairfield) started the game with a driving layup, splitting a double team. The next possession she scored on a beautiful hook shot, finishing with her left hand.
She would start an 8-0 Blue Jay run against the Beavers, holding them scoreless for the first three and half minutes of the game. The Blue Jays would get the Beavers in foul trouble early, visiting the free throw line on four different occasions in the quarter. Avylina Powell-Qualo (Republic, Mo. / Republic) would go to the line twice and convert three of her four attempts. The first quarter ended with Westminster holding an early 23-11 lead.
The Blue Jays would extend the lead to 14 points early in the second quarter, off a Corrie Reece (Cape Girardeau, Mo. / Cape Central) layup. The Beavers cut it back down to ten, then midway through the second quarter, Reese Arnold (Lonedell, Mo. / Washington) hit an elbow jumper and gave the Blue Jays a 16 point edge. The game would go into halftime, with Westminster leading Blackburn, 38-24. Schaeffer and Powell-Qualo scored 18 of the Blue Jays' 38 points in the first half.
The third quarter saw the Blue Jays reach a game-high 21 point lead. Thanks in part to an Annette Ramirez (Sarcoxie, MO / Sarcoxie) three-pointer from the wing off an in-bound pass early in the second half. The Beavers would make a barrage of threes and layups near the end of the third quarter, shrinking the lead to 11 points with 1:46 left in the third quarter. This forced Blue Jay head coach Talisha Washington to call a timeout. After the timeout, both teams would trade baskets back and forth. The third quarter would end with a 60-49 score in favor of the Blue Jays.
A Maile Peck (Marshfield, MO / Marshfield), fifteen-foot corner jumper, and a Beavers three-pointer would kick off the final ten minutes of play. Blackburn hit three three-pointers in a row plus a layup and it nearly took away an eleven-point lead. The Beavers were down two with 7:30 remaining in the fourth quarter.
The Blue Jays would respond. A Powell-Qualo free-throw line jumper and a pair of Ramirez three-pointers put the Blue Jays ahead ten points with 5:12 to go. With 2:57 left in the fourth quarter, Ramirez would ice the game with a pair of free throws. The free throws would make the score 78-65. She would score 20 off the bench and was the spark Westminster needed in the second half, scoring 16 of her 20 points after the break.
The Jays earned a hard-fought victory with a final score of 83-70 over the Beavers. The Blue Jays improve to 10-8 overall and 6-1 in the SLIAC. This win extends their winning streak to four games.
Ramirez led all scorers with 20 points. Powell-Qualo would score 17 points, going 6-9 from the field and 5-8 from the free-throw line. Arnold would contribute 15 points. Schaeffer would round out the double figure scorers with 11 and recorded a double-double leading the team in rebounds with 10.
The Westminster College women's basketball team will be back in action on Saturday, January 29th when they host Eureka College. The game will tip off at 1:00 p.m. in the Historic Gym.