Westminster women beat Webster to improve in conference play
WEBSTER GROVES - The Westminster women's basketball team hit 23 free throws to boost them over the Webster University Gorloks Saturday afternoon, 63-58. The win brings the Westminster Blue Jays to 9-5 overall and 8-2 in conference play.
"This was a big road win for us," said junior Kasey Gatson. "We held them to just 25 points in the second half and we collectively committed to taking more pride on the boards."
The first comment head coach Tracey Braden said was "RESILIENCE." Afterward, she said, "We knew it would be a tough physical game. It's always a good battle with Webster, and their inside game with #44 and #33 is solid every game."
The Gorloks took an early 12-5 lead, but the Blue Jays recovered with four free throws by sophomore Andrea Zalis and jump shots by juniors Gatson and Mackenzie Haddox to bring the game within one, 12-11.
The Blue Jays were unable to grab the lead throughout the rest of the first half, despite bringing the game within one point twice. They went into halftime trailing 33-28.
The Gorloks started the second half with an 8-2 run to take the 41-30 lead with just over three minutes off the clock, but the Blue Jays answered back with a 9-2 run to bring the game back within four.
Haddox drained two from the foul line with 10:32 on the clock to bring the game back within three, 45-42. Two free throws from junior Sadie Theroff brought the Blue Jays within one point, and a basket by Gatson gave the Blue Jays their first lead of the half with 6:52 left in the game.
The lead bounced back-and-forth four times between the Blue Jays and the Gorloks over the next four minutes.
The final lead change came from the bucket by Theroff with 2:47 on the clock. The jump shot gave the Blue Jays the 55-54 lead.
The Gorloks scored a jump shot with 15 seconds on the clock to bring the game within one, 59-58. They immediately fouled, sending Gatson to the line. She sunk both, bringing the Blue Jays up by three, 61-58.
Gatson was sent back to the line after the Gorloks' coach received a technical with 1.6 seconds on the clock. Gatson sealed the deal with two more good free throws, ending the road game with a 63-58 win.
"We made some adjustments defensively at halftime, and I felt like we came out with better energy," said Coach Braden. "Kasey [Gatson] has had two quality games back-to-back; it is nice to see her hard work and extra time in the gym pay off." Gatson scored 31 points in the win after going 11-20 from the field and 6-7 from the foul line.
"It was a big step for us to play in a tight game at the end and come out with a win," added Gatson.
Zalis put up 10 points and pulled down eight boards, and Haddox scored nine and pulled down seven rebounds.
The Blue Jays return home for a match-up with Principia College on Tuesday, January 27, at 6:00 p.m.