Webster University’s women’s basketball team nearly spoiled Fontbonne University’s senior night with a huge comeback in the second half of the team’s Feb. 22 contest, but the Gorloks fell short by one, losing 57-56.
Both teams will see each other for the third time this season when they play on Feb. 24 at 6 p.m. in the first round of the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference post-season tournament at Westminster College. Webster won the first time the teams faced off, 47-45, on Jan. 8.
The first half was a struggle for the Gorloks at both ends of the court. Webster’s shot selection was poor, as the Gorloks hit 29 percent of their field goal attempts for the half.
“No effort at all was the problem for the first half,” Webster coach Jordan Olufson said. “We weren’t getting the loose balls, we were getting out-rebounded and we looked like we didn’t want it more than they did.”
Olufson told the team at halftime they needed to move the ball around on offense to look for the open jump shot.
The second half was completely different for the Gorloks. Webster shot 60 percent from the field and played stellar defense. The Gorloks went on a 17-2 run to take the lead, 41-40, with 12 minutes remaining.
The game came down to the wire, as Webster had possession of the ball with four seconds left and the game tied at 56-56. A Fontbonne player stole the inbounds pass, drove straight to the hoop and was fouled. With 0.9 seconds left, Fontbonne’s Calli Collier hit one of her two free throw attempts to give the Griffins the one-point win.
Webster senior Katy Meyer led the Gorloks with a team-high 23 points on 9-15 shooting. Sophomore guard Maggie Zehner struggled from the field with 1-6 shooting, but contributed four rebounds and three assists.
“The second half we were more patient on offense and we took our time to get better looks at the basket,” Zehner said. “Our defense picked up and we forced turnovers that led to points.”
Webster finished the regular season with a 15-10 overall record and a 10-6 conference record, which placed them in third in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
The Gorloks have one more practice to get ready for their rematch with the Griffins.
“There are a few mistakes we have to fix,” Olufson said. “This is what rivalries are all about.”