Westminster steals one from Howard, 41-36

January 06, 1994|By Glenn Graham | Glenn Graham,Staff Writer

The Westminster defense sparked a 10-0 run early in the third quarter to help lead the No. 17 Owls to a 41-36 win over No. 19 Howard last night.

The Owls (6-2) scored six points in a span of 13 seconds to cap the spurt and give them a 25-17 lead with five minutes remaining in the third quarter.

After Julie Backof scored inside, the Owls pressed. They stole the ball, enabling Cassandra Conklin to make a layup. The Owls repeated the effort with Beth Lister converting. Just like that it was an eight-point lead.

Neither team had led by more than four up to that point.

The Lions rallied in the fourth quarter but couldn't overcome the Owls.

"We take pride in our team defense, and it really picked us up," said Westminster coach Bernie Koontz.

"It was our team defense that kept us in it until our offense got going. Everyone playing solid defense makes for good team defense, and most coaches will take a good defense before a good offense."

Appropriately enough, a full-court press by Westminster late in the fourth quarter finally did Howard in.

After Yamika Blackston scored to get the Lions (4-4) within 35-34 with 2:05 left, Lister hit a short jumper and Conklin stole the inbounds pass and made a layup to get the lead back to 39-34.

Lister led the Owls with 14 points and seven rebounds. Conklin had seven points, seven rebounds and five steals.

Blackston and Emily Moore both had 10 to lead the Lions.

Howard coach Craig O'Connell said poor shooting was the Lions' downfall.

"We just can't put the ball in the basket consistently," he said.

"No one has stepped up and given us a go-to person. They are playing hard, but just can't get things to drop."

The Lions often look to Mona Jackson to provide scoring, but she ran into early foul trouble and was never a factor, finishing with eight points.

There were six ties in a first half marred by turnovers and poor shooting by both teams.

The biggest lead either team would enjoy came when Lister hit two free throws with 2:49 remaining in the half to give the Owls a 15-11 lead.

But Howard answered with two free throws from Moore -- who had 10 in the half -- and a jumper by Lisa Hart to tie the score at 15-15 at halftime.

"It wasn't pretty, but we'll take it," Koontz said.

"We did more of the little things right than they did, and I think that was the difference."

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