Women’s Basketball Ends Season in First Round of Tournament

Sophomore Payton Gruber high-fives teammates after coming out of the game. PHOTO BY TIFFANY CRAWFORD

Sophomore Payton Gruber high-fives teammates after coming out of the game. PHOTO BY TIFFANY CRAWFORD


Four Blue Jays were honored at the end of the 17-8 overall season. The second-seeded Blue Jays were upset by the third-seeded Eureka College Red Devils in the first round of the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament on Thursday night.  The 71-58 loss ended Westminster’s season with a record of 17-8 overall.

The first half was a close contest until the Red Devils took over with less than three minutes left in the period, using a 12-1 run to take a 33-20 lead.  That run proved to be the difference in the game, as the Blue Jays were never able to come up with a run of their own or slow Eureka’s attack.  The game and the season came to a disappointing end for Westminster, but the Blue Jays will have many key players returning next season, including all five regular starters.

Statistically, the Blue Jays were led in the final game by a well-rounded game from sophomore Andrea Zalis, who posted a double-double (10 points and 10 rebounds) along with four assists.  Juniors Mackenzie Haddox and Sadie Theroff led the Westminster scoring effort with 11 points each.  Junior Kasey Gatson and sophomore Krista Armontrout joined Zalis in the rebounding lead with 10 boards apiece.

Four Blue Jays were honored for their efforts throughout the season at the SLIAC awards ceremony following the game.  Gatson earned a spot on the All-Conference First Team after a prolific season for Westminster.  Zalis was honored with a Second Team All-Conference selection, and Haddox was included on both All-Conference Third Team and the All-Defensive Team.  Sophomore Bailey Mitchell was honored for her sportsmanship and positive attitude with a spot on the SLIAC All-Sportsmanship Team.

On the season, Gatson’s 14.1 points per game were tops for the Blue Jays, while Zalis’s 13.8 weren’t far behind.  Zalis and Armontrout paced the rebounding effort for Westminster with per-game totals of 6.5 and 5.7, respectively.  Haddox’s 4.1 assists per game and 1.8 steals per game led the Blue Jays in those categories.

While the season may not have ended in the Blue Jays’ favor, Coach Tracy Braden and the team will take the lessons learned and apply them to be even stronger and smarter next year.

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