Written and Media by Jaylen Shelton.
On February 22-24, Greenville University hosted the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SLIAC) basketball tournament. The tournament is hosted by the team that has the best conference record in regular season. Greenville Women’s Basketball finished with a season record of 15 wins and one loss and finished number one seed. The second seed was Eureka College, which finished its season with a record of 13 wins and three losses. Webster College was the third seed with a record of 12 wins and four losses. The final seed was Westminster College, which had a record of nine wins and seven losses. These were the teams that were a part of the SLIAC tournament.
Eureka vs. Webster
In the first game of the semifinals, Webster, the underdogs, defeated Eureka 56 to 52. Webster’s leading scorer was Taylor Lucas, who gave them 13 total points. Webster also got 10 points from Aley Lucas and Kelsey Miller. Jade Sawyer led the team in assists with a total of five. The game was close all the way down to the final whistle. Going into halftime, the score was tied at 27. Webster took a three-point lead in the 3rd quarter and never looked back, holding on for a win by a margin of four points. Webster’s defense was key for this victory as they held Eureka, the 6th-highest scoring team in all of Division III basketball, to only nine points in the fourth quarter. Eureka’s Hayley Reneau was the overall leading scorer with 20 points.
Greenville vs. Westminster
The next game of the SLIAC tournament was also an upset. Greenville, the number one seed, fell to
Westminster, 73-67. It was a duel between Westminster’s Kendhal Adams, who scored 17 points, and Greenville’s Wesley Woodard, who had 19 total points. What helped Westminster was that they had four of their five starters score in double digits and they shot 41% from the field, while Greenville shot 35%. The game’s leading rebounder was Grace Archambault from Westminster, while the leader in assists was Westminster’s Kelsey Ray.
Going into the fourth quarter, Westminster had a one-point lead. The game was tied at 64 with two-and-a-half minutes left in the game when Adams made a three-pointer to put Westminster up for good. Westminster won, advancing to the championship game against Webster. After the game, Ray said, “We knew that this was going to be a tough game, but we stuck together and we had each others’ backs to get this team win.”
Webster vs. Westminster
The final game in the tournament was a rare sighting. For the first time ever in SLIAC women’s basketball history, the third and fourth-ranked teams met in the championship game. These two teams did not disappoint in the championship round. Webster became the 2018 SLIAC Women’s Basketball champions by defeating Westminster 63-61. Taylor Lucas led Webster in scoring with 25 points and had the most points overall. Westminster scored a majority of their points from Mirrakohl Johnson, who had 21 points, and Ray, who had 19. Adams led the game in rebounds with 13, and Ray had the most assists with six. Webster’s Megan Brandt had to make free throws to close out the game and seal the victory for Webster.
Many awards were given during the tournament. Greenville’s Coach, Roy Mulholland, won the Coach of the Year award for leading the Panthers to their 2nd ever regular season conference title. Reneau from Eureka won the Player of the Year award for being dominate on offense and defense. Archambault was named Newcomer of the Year for having a great year in her first season of being in the SLIAC. They also announced the First Team All-Conference, which goes to the best players in the conference. The people who made the first team were Adams, Reneau, Alex Martin of Spalding, Aley Lucas, and Woodard. The final award was the All-Tournament Team, which went to the players who had the best performance in the SLIAC tournament.
To see Greenville’s game against Westminster check out the live video below.