Women’s basketball team misses out on SLIAC title


With 12 seconds left, the Webster University women’s basketball team had one final chance to tie or win the game. But Spalding University’s standout forward Jessica Guy blocked the shot and sealed the win 60-58, according to a Webster Athletics article. Guy scored 23 points, pulled down 24 rebounds and blocked five shots, including the game-clincher. She was named SLIAC tournament MVP.
The Webster women’s basketball team lost the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SLIAC) Tournament championship game against Spalding University 60-58. The defeat on March 1 in Louisville, Ky. ended the Gorloks’ season and their bid to reach the NCAA D-III tournament. They finished the season 17-10, with 13-5 in the conference.
Webster Coach Jordan Olufson said he was proud of the team.
“They battled all weekend long, and you can’t ask for any more than that. They battled just like they did our whole season, and we had a great year,” Olufson said.
The Gorloks, who finished fourth in the SLIAC, according to the SLIAC website. The Gorloks led the game by 10 points with just under 11 minutes to play. However a 9-0 run by Spalding erased Webster’s advantage, and set up a tense conclusion to the game. Webster managed to take the lead again at 57-53 with 1:44 left to play.
Freshman Elisha Cobbs hit a three pointer and Courtney Pursley made a pair of free throws. Again, Webster’s lead was short-lived, and Spalding went on a 7-0 run. The Spalding Golden Eagles managed to hold on to the lead and the conference tournament title.
Pursley led the team in scoring with 17 points. She also added nine rebounds in what would prove to be her last game for Webster. Pursley, however, put her teammates before her individual accomplishments.
“The tournament was a team effort. There was always someone different stepping-up,” Pursley said.
Guard Kaliann Rikard echoed Pursley’s sentiments. “I couldn’t have asked for a better team to play with.”
Pursley finished the season with 259 rebounds, a new single-season school record, according to Webster Athletics. Pursley ranks fifth all-time in rebounding at Webster. She was named on the SLIAC All-Tournament Team, along with fellow senior Rikard.
Rikard chipped in with 11 points against Spalding and was a force throughout the tournament for Webster. Rikard led the team in scoring in the semifinal win over Eureka College. She scored 19 points, along with seven assists and five steals.
In addition, Coach Olufson praised Rikard and Pursley, and insisted their contributions “were more than just stats.” He lauded them for helping establish a culture of hard work at Webster since they joined the team.
“We were a really young team,” Rikard said. “It was a learning season, but I’m happy with our season. Obviously we wanted to win that last game, but it doesn’t always fall your way.”
Pursley said she feels secure with how the team will continue in the future.
“With the group of girls we have, they never quit,” Pursley said. “Just with the team that they have (now), they’ll be fine.”

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