Lady Blue Jays Can’t Overcome First Half Deficit, End Season In SLIAC Semifinals

Louisville, Ky. – The Westminster Lady Blue Jays fell short to Spalding University Friday evening, despite their late game comeback attempt. The 70-64 loss in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SLIAC) semifinal game ends the Blue Jays’ 2013-14 season. They finished the year with a 13-12 overall record and 11-7 conference record.

“I am proud of this team,” stated Head Coach Tracey Braden. “They displayed tremendous heart and great character tonight. It didn’t end how we wanted or expected it to, but we respect Coach Just and his team, and we wish them the very best!”

The Spalding Golden Eagles jumped out with a 10-5 lead four minutes into the game, but the Blue Jays knocked down two jumpers to bring the game to 11-9. A layup by freshman Andrea Zalis put the Blue Jays down by just one with 11:05 to go in the first, but the Golden Eagles answered back with a 4-0 run. The Golden Eagles pulled a 16-2 run in the final seven minutes to send the Blue Jays into halftime trailing by 17, 35-18.

The Golden Eagles grabbed a 20 point lead with 11:15 remaining in the game, but the Blue Jays answered with a 9-0 run to bring them within 11 points, 50-39. The Blue Jays chipped away at the deficit and with two minutes to go in the game, sophomore Sadie Theroff hit a three-pointer to bring the Blue Jays within seven, 58-51. In the final minute of the game, the Blue Jays gave it their all.

A layup by sophomore Mackenzie Haddox put the Blue Jays within five, and another three-pointer by Theroff had the Blue Jays within three with 47 seconds remaining. The Golden Eagles hit a layup and went 2-4 from the foul line to put them up by seven with 17 seconds on the clock. Haddox hit a three with four seconds remaining to bring them within four points, 68-64. The Blue Jays quickly fouled, but Spalding sank both free throws. The Blue Jays pushed it down the court, but were unable to find the net, bringing their season to an end with the 70-64 loss.

The Blue Jays shot 91.7 percent from the foul line and 32.8 percent from the field. Zalis led the Blue Jays with 19 points and pulled down six rebounds. Haddox dished in six assists and added 11 points to the loss. Theroff grabbed seven boards.

Prior to the second SLIAC semifinal game, the conference announced the 2013-14 award winners.

Senior Leigh Ann Lutz was named to the SLIAC All-Conference First Team.

Each SLIAC school selects a member of the basketball team that has continually demonstrated good sportsmanship throughout the season. Junior Danielle Smulczenski was selected to the SLIAC All-Sportsmanship Team for Westminster College.

Westminster was also awarded the SLIAC Sportsmanship Award for the third consecutive year.

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