Lady Blue Jays Take SLIAC Tournament Title, Head to NCAA Tournament
FULTON, MO -- The Westminster College Lady Blue Jays claimed back-to-back St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SLIAC) Tournament Titles after a 71-55 victory over Webster University. The Blue Jays defeated Eureka College last year in the 2012 SLIAC Tournament to win their first SLIAC Tournament Title. Junior Leigh Ann Lutz put the first numbers on the board, hitting a three-pointer, and breaking the Westminster three-point season record.
From there the game went back-and-forth with both teams grabbing possession of the game. With 10:13 left in the half, the Blue Jays took hold and went on a 7-0 run to give them a nine point lead, 20-11.
The Webster Gorloks answered back with their own 6-0 run to bring them within three points and back into the game, but Westminster's Lutz hit yet another three before the Blue Jays headed into halftime up 29-23.
A strong start for the Gorloks brought the game within one point just short of two minutes into the game, but the Blue Jays hit a 7-0 run to secure their lead.
The Gorloks kept in the game, and two free throws by the Gorlok's high scorer, Maggie Zehner, put the game back within one point with nine minutes left of play.
The Blue Jays went on yet another 7-0 run, and then continued to dominate, putting them up by 15 points with just 1:36 left in the game.
Two free throws by freshman Mackenzie Haddox ended the game with a Blue Jay 71-55 victory.
The Blue Jays shot 41 percent from the field and 50 percent from the three-point line, while holding the Gorloks to just 35 percent from the field and 29 percent from the three-point line. The Blue Jays went 13-14 from the foul line, with freshman Haddox going 8-8.
Lutz led the game in scoring, hitting seven three-pointers and totaling 27 points and was named Tournament MVP. Senior Hannah Kloster followed with 19 points, shooting 50 percent from the field.
Haddox fell short of a double-double, adding 15 points and nine rebounds. Senior Laci Luff led the game with 11 rebounds. Senior Kenna Cornelson led the game with five assists and was named to the All-Tournament Team.
Webster's Zehner led the Gorloks with 14 points, followed by Gwen Williams with 11. Zehner was named to the All-Tournament Team.Joining Lutz, Cornelson and Zehner on the All-Tournament Team were Eureka's Caty Eeten and Spalding University's Kelly Harrod. The Blue Jays automatically earn a qualifying bid to the 2013 NCAA Division III Women's Basketball Tournament with the win. The Blue Jays will find out on Monday, February 25, who they will face in the first round.