St. Louis, Mo. - After their big win at home against Webster Wednesday night, Fontbonne women's basketball took a hit in conference standings with a loss at home to Westminster (54-50). Fontbonne is now 4-5 in conference while Westminster advances to 5-3.
The Griffins got off to a slow start and found themselves down by eight points right off the bat. Trailing 10-2, Fontbonne pulled within two (12-10) but trailed 20-15 at the start of the second round and were down by four at halftime.
Emmie Haring and Raven Venegas connected on each of the first two opening buckets to start the second half. Venegas dished Haring a pass for the trey and after a Westminster turnover, Haring through a pass to the freshman to give Fontbonne a 30-29 lead. Westminster quickly regained control as they went on a 12-3 run to close out the third quarter.
The Griffins trailed 45-33 before 12 straight points tied the game. In that timeframe, Westminster turned the ball over six times, including back-to-back turnovers from Andrea Zalis, the top scorer in the conference, with some help from Venegas and Haring. A frustrated Westminster team took 30 seconds to gather themselves before taking a 50-45 lead with 25 seconds to go as they held on for the win.
Zalis recorded the game-high 15 points but Mirrakohl Johnson grabbed 13 rebounds and scored 10 points for Westminster. Nine of Johnson's rebounds were on her team's offensive end. The Blue Jays secured 19 points off free throws alone.
Venegas scored all six buckets she attempted as her and Kaitlynn Walker each recorded the team-high 12 points. Venegas and 5'2 guard Lauren Willis each brought down five rebounds. Haring also scored in double-digits with 11 points while assisting seven times and stealing the ball four times.
Despite out-shooting Westminster in field goals and accuracy (43.8%-37.0%), Fontbonne struggled at the free throw line making just four of ten attempts, their lowest of the season. Those free throws, coupled with the Blue Jays's rebounding advantage (34-22), cost the Griffins a much-needed conference victory.
Fontbonne is on the road next week and won't return to host again until Feb. 1st. The Griffins travel to MacMurray on Wednesday and Blackburn next Saturday for games at 3 p.m. and 1 p.m. respectively.