For the first time since 2011, Webster University can call themselves the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Women's Basketball Champions. The Gorloks became just the second #3 seed in tournament history to win the title, defeating #4 seed Westminster College 63-61 in the championship game. This marks the third SLIAC Tournament title in program history for the Gorloks and their sixth trip to the NCAA Division III National Tournament.
The 2018 SLIAC Women's Basketball Championship game was a game of runs, beginning with Mirrakohl Johnson scoring the first 11 points of the game for Westminster College. Westminster opened up a 35-25 lead with 3:41 left in the first-half but Webster turned up the pressure and made a late run. After forcing a turnover and then picking up a block, the Gorloks had the ball down just five with under two minutes left. That is when Megan Brandt knocked down a three to cut the score to 35-33, which is where the scoreboard would stand as the teams headed to the locker rooms for halftime.
Once again it was Johnson putting together a scoring run for Westminster to open the second half, scoring her team's first seven points. The Gorloks made another run, taking a 43-42 lead on a nice post move from Taylor Lucas.
The scoring pace picked up as the game moved towards the end of the 3rd quarter, with both teams combining to connect on their final five shots of the quarter. The scoring run started when Kendahl Adams hit a three with 1:07 on the clock and she would close out the quarter with another three to make the score 50-49 in favor of the Blue Jays as they entered the 4th period.
The scoring trend continued into the 4th with two more consecutive baskets for the teams, giving them seven straight combined makes from the field. However, after the big scoring run the two teams went scoreless mid-way through the quarter for nearly two minutes before Adams hit a pair of free-throws that put Westminster up 55-53 with 4:44 remaining.
The Blue Jays held the lead until Taylor Lucas once again went to work in the paint, drawing the teams even at 57-57 with 2:15 left. After a pair of Westminster free-throws, it was Brandt that once again knocked down a key shot, draining a three that gave Webster a 60-59 lead, their first lead in over seven minutes. The Gorloks were able to hold off the Blue Jays for the final two-minutes, knocking down three of their final four free-throw shots. A last-second shot by Westminster fell into the arms of the Gorloks, securing the title for Webster.
Taylor Lucas was named SLIAC Tournament MVP after scoring a game-high 25 points while teammate Kyle Shoot, who was also named to the All-Tournament team, finished with 8 points and 4 rebounds. Brandt, who had the two biggest three's of the game for Webster, added 11 points. Webster receives the SLIAC automatic bid to the 2018 NCAA Division III Women's Basketball Tournament and will find out where they are headed on Monday.
Westminster was paced by Kendahl Adams' 21 points and earned All-Tournament honors. Also named to the All-Tournament team was teammate Mirrakohl Johnson, Eureka's Ashely Harfst, and Greenville's Morgan St. James.
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