Wolverines Come Up Short in St. Pete's Classic Opener

Photo Credit: Gary Emeigh
Photo Credit: Gary Emeigh

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - The Wesley College women's basketball team traveled south for the winter, heading to St. Petersburg, Fla. for the St. Pete's Classic. The squad fell 71-51 to Westminster (Mo.) in the opener.

Tiyanna Gibbs had 15 points for the Wolverines, while Brionna Johnson netted six but grabbed 10 rebounds. Monshea Newsome-Murray scored eight points as the Wolverines fell to the loss.

Wesley shot 30.0% from the field, going 21-for-70 on the night. The squad shot 80% from the foul line, but only earned five trips to the charity stripe. Westminster forced the Wolverines into 21 turnovers and outscored Wesley 30-16 in the paint, using their size to their advantage.

Wesley dug themselves an early hole, falling behind 12-4 in the first three minutes of play. Wesley cut the lead to 17-14 with three minutes remaining in the first quarter, but the Blue Jays ended the frame on a 5-0 run taking a 22-14 lead into the break.

In the second quarter, six different Wolverines scored as the team outscored the Blue Jays 18-17. Newsome-Murray cut the Blue Jays' lead to just three points when she hit a jumper three minutes into the frame, but it was as close as the Wolverines would come to tying the game. Westminster extended their lead back to seven points by the halftime whistle, taking a 39-32 lead into the break.

Wesley struggled to shoot the basketball in the third quarter, and were held scoreless through the first 4:33 of the quarter until Brittney Kerns netted a three. The team shot just 3-for-22 in the quarter as the Blue Jays extended their lead to 54-39 heading into the final period.

Tiyanna Gibbs tried to spur her team to a comeback, scoring eight fourth quarter points, but it wasn't enough to combat the height of the Blue Jays' squad as they continued battering the Wolverines in the paint. Wesley was outrebounded 42-34 over the course of the game.

The Wolverines fall to 1-7 on the season and will return to action on Saturday morning at 11:00 am when they face Alverno College in the second day of action in the St. Pete's Classic.