Gorloks force 32 turnovers in 75-49 win over Highlanders, improve record to 13-7 overall and 8-3 in SLIAC
By Josh Sellmeyer
After the MacMurray College Highlanders scored the first bucket of the game in a Feb. 5 contest at Grant Gymnasium, the Webster University women’s basketball team went on a run to remember.
In a span of 10 minutes and 58 seconds, the Gorloks scored 21 unanswered points, forced 17 MacMurray turnovers and allowed the Highlanders only six shot attempts. When MacMurray finally broke through for their second field goal with just over eight minutes remaining in the first half, the game was already well in Webster’s control, 21-4.
Webster never relinquished the lead, as the Highlanders could only get within 11 points after Webster’s 21-0 run. The Gorloks’ convincing 75-49 win over 1-17 MacMurray pushed the team’s record to 13-7 overall and 8-3 in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
Webster has won four straight after losing by 24 to undefeated SLIAC-leader Westminster College on Jan. 19. The Gorloks are currently in third place in the conference standings; the top four teams at the end of the season advance to play in the SLIAC post-season tournament.
“We’re very focused; we’re not happy where we are in conference,” said coach Jordan Olufson. “We lost a couple of conference games we knew we should have won, so I think we’re playing with a little bit of a chip on our shoulder. A couple weeks ago, we said, ‘We’re going to try to win our last nine in a row,’ and that’s what we’re doing right now.”
The Gorloks have five games left on the regular season slate. Webster plays home games this week against Blackburn College (Feb. 9 at 6 p.m.) and Spalding University (Feb. 11 at 6 p.m.).
“We’re going to keep playing the same way we have been,” said sophomore forward Tori Fenemor. “Keep working on defense, getting our offense together and gelling as a team more. Hopefully it all comes together.”
Fenemor scored 12 points, pulled down eight rebounds and recorded five steals in Webster’s win over MacMurray. When the Highlanders went on a mini-run with eight minutes left in the game, Fenemor sank four straight free throws to put the score at 57-37 and keep MacMurray at bay.
Fenemor said Webster’s defense, which employed their full-court “black press” for a majority of the game, stood out in the win. She added that the squad has been spending a lot of time in practice working on their team defense, and the intensity from those practices carried over to the game.
It was the seventh time this season that Webster held its opponent to less than 50 points. Olufson said the black press was wkey, as it allowed the Gorloks to trap the Highlanders, get deflections and pick up the loose balls. Webster forced MacMurray to turn the ball over 32 times.
“The press helped, but we also made extra passes,” Olufson said. “We talked about it at the beginning of the game: be a team, make the extra pass. Just because you might have the first open shot, it may not be the best.”
Senior Katy Meyer led all scorers with 18 points, 14 of which came in the first half. Meyer has 1,065 points for career and needs 19 more points to move into third place on Webster’s all-time scoring list.
Olufson said defense is the key if the Gorloks want to have an opportunity to make a post-season run.
“In my mind, every game is winnable,” Olufson said. “We should win every game. We’ve just got to show up to do it, and put in all of the hard work in between each game.”