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Griffins Defense Shines In Its Victory Over Westminster

Griffins Defense Shines In Its Victory Over Westminster

ST. LOUIS, Mo.—The Fontbonne University women's basketball team picked up a huge conference win against Westminster on Saturday in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Game of the Week, winning 64-54.

The Griffins (10-12; 6-7 SLIAC), shot 40.4 percent from the floor, but shined against the top rebounding team in the SLIAC with a 43-36 advantage. The defense also forced 14 turnovers and held in check Westminster's leading scorer Kendahl Adams.

Offensively, Rylee Stafford went 4-of-6 from beyond-the-arc to finish with a game-high 14 points off the bench. Jillian and Raven Venegas each netted five shots and combined for 15 rebounds to conclude with 12 points apiece, while Sarah Schraut added 10 points.

Coming into today's game, Adams, was averaging 18.9 points. Today, after getting into some early foul trouble, she finished 3-of-14 from the field for 11 points. Mirrakohl Johnson paced them off the bench with 14 points.

In the first quarter, the Blue Jays scored its first six points all from the charity-stripe to take a 6-5 lead at 5:42. Later, Stafford gave Fontbonne the advantage at 9-7 on her 3-pointer. The team held onto its lead the rest of the way, capped off by Emily Bay's made lay-up to put them on top 15-12 after one.

Fontbonne shot 38.5 percent in the first, but its defense was outstanding, holding Westminster to a 15.4 field goal percentage.

In the second, Raven Venegas' lay-up gave Fontbonne a 21-15 lead just two minutes and 45 seconds in. at 6:29, Grace Archambault got the deficit down to 21-19, though the Griffins responded with a 7-0 run over the next five minutes to lead, 28-19.

The Griffins cruised on from there and headed into the locker room on top, 35-26. It was another tough offensive 10:00 minutes for Westminster going against the Griffins defense as they shot 37.5 percent. The bigger story was leading scorer, Adams, already had three fouls.

Coming out of the break, the Griffins never missed a beat and led 41-32 (5:49) on Raven Venegas' bucket. That started a 5-0 run over a two minute span to take a commanding 46-32 lead on Jillian Venegas' lay-up. Westminster never got the Griffins lead down under 10 as Fontbonne led 51-40 going into the fourth.

In the finale, Archambault's bucket put the Blue Jays within striking distance at 51-43 (8:43). Fontbonne answered right back, though on buckets from Schraut, Stafford and Jillian Venegas to take a comfortable 57-43 advantage with 6:19 to go.

Westminster trimmed the lead down to eight, but the deficit proved to be too great as the Griffins went on for the 10-point win.

The team returns to the court next Wednesday at MacMurray. Tip-off is slated for 6 p.m.

Fans make sure to stay updated on throughout the year for full updates and recaps on the women's basketball team.