Blue Jays’ shooting hardships play factor in first SLIAC loss

The Westminster College Blue Jays were off the mark in experiencing their first SLIAC loss of the season.

Westminster shot just 39 percent as a team and was outscored 19-1 at the free-throw line Wednesday night, watching a seven-point halftime lead disappear in a 57-48 loss to Webster University.

The first-place Blue Jays — who saw their five-game winning streak come to an end — made just 20-of-52 shots overall, including a woeful 28-percent performance (7-of-25) from 3-point range. Westminster (10-7, 7-1 St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) attempted only four free throws.

Meanwhile, second-place Webster (11-4, 6-1) shot 70 percent (19-of-27) from the line, including 74 percent (17-of-23) in the second half to overcome a 29-22 halftime deficit. The Gorloks — who outscored the Blue Jays 35-19 over the final 20 minutes — also weathered a dreadful 29-percent shooting effort (17-of-58) from the field overall.

Sophomore guard Skylar Tolson — who was 5-of-9 from behind the arc — produced a game-high 15 points to direct Westminster, which was burdened by 18 turnovers. Senior forward Justin Gilmore, who finished 6-of-9 from the field, added 12 points and grabbed a team-high nine rebounds as the Blue Jays were edged on the boards by a 41-37 margin.

Willie Trimble responded with 14 points to lead three players in double figures for Webster, which committed just nine turnovers. Robby Meeh was next with 12 points and Drew Moore contributed 10.

Westminster hosts SLIAC foe MacMurray (Ill.) College at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 26.

Westminster basketball (W)........89

Webster University......................65

ST. LOUIS — Junior guard Heather Letourneau tallied a game-high 20 points Wednesday night, helping the first-place Lady Blue Jays remain unbeaten in SLIAC play.

Letourneau — who connected on 6-of-9 shots — was one of three players to reach double figures for Westminster College (11-5, 8-0 St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference), which forced 29 Webster turnovers. The Lady Blue Jays owned a 40-29 halftime advantage.

Freshman guard Leigh Ann Lutz came off the bench to hit 6-of-12 shots, including 3-of-7 from 3-point range, and finished with 18 points for Westminster. Junior guard Rachel Backes — who knocked down 4-of-6 attempts from behind the arc — provided 16 points, five rebounds and five assists.

Westminster shot 49 percent (28-of-57) as a team, including 47 percent (8-of-17) on 3-pointers, and 86 percent (25-of-29) at the free-throw line. Letourneau also collected a team-high six rebounds as the Lady Blue Jays — who overcame 18 turnovers — were outrebounded 39-31.

Katy Meyer topped Webster (9-7, 4-3) with 19 points. Maggie Zehner chipped in with 13 points as the Lady Gorloks shot just 39 percent (24-of-62) from the field.

Westminster returns home for a SLIAC encounter against MacMurray College at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 26.

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